College Sports

Miller's 35 lifts Andover Central

ANDOVER — As West coach Phil Daignault searched for an advantage for the Pioneers at Andover Central, he latched on to one that could launch his team into the Class 5A sub-state final.

Quickness.

While Andover Central had the advantage over West in height — the Jags started four between 6-foot-4 and 6-6, while West has one player on the team over 6-1 — Daignault chose not to play zone defense. Instead he sped up the pace.

It worked Wednesday night — for a quarter. Andover Central adjusted and showed it can play an uptempo game, winning 92-79. On Friday, the Jaguars (19-2) will play Andover, a 64-52 winner at Liberal.

"I love to play fast-paced games," said Andover Central senior Marshall Miller, who had 35 points and 17 rebounds. "And we have players who can play as well in the half-court as in an uptempo game."

For Daignault, the result was disappointing.

"I thought we could play with them, and we did," he said. "I thought the pace would be an advantage, and it was, early."

In the first quarter, there were five lead changes and five ties. West (7-14) used its quick hands, getting steals from Dontrez Washington and Jamez Jones that resulted in fastbreak points for the Pioneers' first baskets.

West forced six first-quarter turnovers and kept getting into the lane for easy shots en route to a 21-16 lead.

"It was a different style of play than we're used to," Andover Central coach Jesse Herrmann said. "They speed you up. There for awhile, we knew we couldn't give up layups, but that's what we were doing.

"It was slipping away for a minute."

The pace didn't slow in the second quarter, and that was OK with Andover Central, which hit 12 of 14 shots including 6 of 6 from three-point range. Four players hit threes in the period, including Miller, Chris McWhorter, Jack Gentry and Mark Anderson.

"We just got used to it," Miller said of the Jaguars' adjustment. "We knew we would play fast, but we had to get set and feel it out."

Miller had 21 at the half, 12 in the first quarter.

"Marshall was a man, taking it to the basket," Herrmann said.

Anderson finished with 18 points, hitting 9 of 10 free throws, while McWhorter had 11.

Jamez Jones led West with 10 rebounds and 23 points; he was 5 of 22 from the floor but 13 of 18 from the line. Travis Gantt added 15 points.

West (7-14) 21 14 20 24—79 Andover Central (19-2) 16 34 13 29—92

WEST: Gantt 6 1-3 15, Scruggs 2 0-0 6, Thomas 2 0-0 4, Washington 2 1-2 6, Jones 5 13-18 23, Griffin 3 0-2 6, Flournoy 1 0-0 2, Eatmon 3 2-3 10, Banks 2 2-2 7. Totals 26 (8) 19-30 79.

ANDOVER CENTRAL: Miller 13 8-10 35, Vautravers 0 8-10 8, Stiverson 3 2-5 8, McWhorter 4 0-1 11, Gentry 1 0-0 3, Anderson 3 9-10 18, Wilks 3 1-2 7, Clements 0 2-2 2. Totals 27 (8) 30-40 92.

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