As they shook hands after Andover Central’s 75-48 win on Thursday, Buhler boys basketball coach Jon McLean told Jesse Herrmann, “Go win it all.”
McLean was referring to the Class 5A tournament. And while the Jaguars first need to win next week’s sub-state, McLean probably recognized that Central had just delivered a state championship-quality performance.
The Jaguars led by double digits after the first quarter and stretched the lead to 30 in the fourth quarter while delivering a prototype performance for their style of play.
Central made 11 threepointers, controlled the tempo and outrebounded the Crusaders 43-24.
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“We’ve gotten better at playing fast,” Herrmann said. “Most of the year, we haven’t played that fast. We’ve been kind of deliberate. But Buhler is a team that wants to speed you up.”
Buhler led 7-2 before a Mark Anderson three-pointer set the tone for Central’s dominating perimeter performance and propelled a 10-0 run that gave Central the lead for good.
Marshall Miller scored 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the first quarter, but Central’s scoring was ultimately more balanced.
Chris McWhorter, made all five of his shots — all threepointers — to finish with 15 points.
“He’s a great shooter, and he’s turning into a great player,” Herrmann said. “He’s always been a great shooter. That’s what we identified very early on about him.”
And Randall Vautravers scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds for the Jaguars.
Central’s perimeter defense kept Buhler from finding a comfort zone as the Crusaders missed 15 of 17 three-point attempts.
“We’d get in the passing lanes,” Vautravers said. “They’d drive, and because we’re so lengthy, they had trouble scoring inside.”
Buhler: 11 7 17 13 — 48 Andover Central: 21 21 17 16 — 75BUHLER: Maldonado 2, A. Massey 5, Pankratz 8 Lohrentz 12, A. Temel 4, Givens 9, Allen 3, Neuway 1 Jordan 4. Totals 17 (2) 12-22 48. ANDOVER CENTRAL: Gentry 9, McWhorter 15, An derson 6, Miller 20, Vautravers 14, Lock 5, Kaufman 4, Stiverson 2. Totals 31 (11) 4-6 75.