The Andover Central boys basketball team made history Saturday night with a 58-47 win over Basehor-Linwood, claiming the first state championship in program history.
Andover Central is one of the only schools in the state to have a trio of 1,000-point scorers, let alone on the same team but Xavier Bell, Easton Leedom and Braden Belt have done just that.
The win brings the Jaguars the first title in school history, Head Coach Jesse Herman says his team had the perfect recipe this season. "To win one of these, you have to be really good, really lucky, and things have to fall into place like it did this year. It helps to have some gamers like we have too."
The 'gamers' Coach Herman is referring to are Bell, Belt, and Leedom, the latter of the three which have spent their entire high school career working for a state championship.
Belt says the work the team put in was worth it.
"It’ll be pretty cool to come back and see that and think, wow, we did that, first time in school history was us. We set the standard now hopefully the younger classes will follow through."
Leedom eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in the semifinal win against Maize, he says the entire team has worked for this moment, not just the top scoring trio.
"I get the whole “big 3 thing” we score most of the points but we couldn’t do it without the rest of the kids who get rebounds, who take charges, who come into practice everyday and make us better," said Leedom. "We’ll be remembered as state champs, first in school history but more importantly we’ll be remembered as a family because we love each other."
Xavier Bell, a junior on the team will now be the leader of the Jaguars next year as they look to defend their title, paused to take in the moment with his teammates saying, "To share the moment with these guys, it means the world to me, we’ve grinded this whole season if anyone deserves it, it’s us."
Andover Central finishes the season 22-3.