The basics: After trailing for three quarters, Maize opened the final quarter with a 9-2 run and were led by Jacob Schultz’s 21 points. Schultz made several big free throws and a three-pointer in the closing minutes. Maize coach Chris Grill credits his team’s tough defensive pressure and discipline for the win.
“They got out on us at the starts, but I told our guys to make them earn it,” Grill said. “Make them work for every shot – that was the difference.”
Defensive pressure: Maize’s defense made key adjustments in the second half, holding Salina Central to 25 points after surrendering 32 in the first half. Pressure on defense led to offense on the other end as Maize players were able to score in transition and get to the free-throw line. Maize scored nine points in the fourth quarter on three and-one baskets.
Ball movement: Twelve of Maize’s 17 points in the fourth quarter were assisted. There were several sequences where Salina Central turned the ball over, recovered, but was left in 2-on-1 situations where a Maize player dished it to his teammates for open looks.
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What they said: “I thought were did a much better job of making (Salina Central) work and earn everything,” Grill said. “We tried to play tough and limit transition shots. We couldn't stop everything but we made it tough for them.”
What it means: Maize clinched at least a share of the AV-CTL I title with the win.
Salina Central: Unruh 2, Shaffer 3, Speer 10, Neuschafer 24, McHenry 14, Miller 4.
Maize: Johnson 2, Bugbee 3, Schultz 21, Spence 8, Grill 2, Jobe 4, Baker 2, Holmes 3, Ohnmeis 8, Ledbetter 7.