ANDOVER — If the second half of Andover Central’s 73-52 win over Salina Central is any indication on how his young team can adjust and mature on the fly, then coach Mike Herrmann will take it.
The Jaguars, with three seniors and two returning starters, struggled with turnovers in the first half but found a rhythm in the second half, outscoring the Mustangs 43-31.
“We got a little flustered in the first half,” Andover Central senior center Adam Wilks said. “The guards really did a good job of calming down. It wasn’t about getting it in the paint but moving it around, getting open shots around the perimeter and then getting into the paint. One of our real strengths this year is going to be scoring in the paint. We have two huge guys, and Boston (Stiverson) is going to score every time he gets it.”
Wilks finished with 16 points, picking up the bulk in the second half when Stiverson (six points and four rebounds) picked up his fourth foul one minute into the third quarter, and then fouling out two minutes into the fourth quarter. Jordan Kaufman, a 6-foot-10 senior for the Jaguars also added 13 points, taking advantage of nice feeds by sophomore point guard Zach Winter (11 points and 4 assists) and senior guard Taylor Lock (two assists).
“We’ve got two guys that handle the ball for us, Zach Winter, our sophomore, I thought he was great,” Hermann said. “He started dribbling with a purpose to the rim and was able to make some dishes to the guys. That’s what we need to do. Our identity will be at the basket, and our shots will start to fall after teams start guarding that.”
Andover Central guard Chris McWhorter hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to send the Jaguars into halftime down 31-30.
“I thought at the end of the second quarter we lost composure a little bit,” Herrmann said. “We’re inexperienced on the varsity floor, and I told the guys I expected a little bit of that. But in the second quarter it looked like it was the first time we’d played after only one practice.”
Shay Wooten led Salina Central with 18 points.
Salina Central (0-1) 13 18 9 13 — 53
Andover Central (1-0) 18 12 18 20 — 72
SALINA CENTRAL: Wooten 18, James 8, Gardner 3,Norwood 6, Vaughn 6, McQuaige 4, Davis 2, Jones 1. Totals 12 (5) 14-30 53.
ANDOVER CENTRAL: Wilks 16, Kaufman 11, Winter 11, Stiverson 6, Kretchmar 6, Clements 6, McWhorter 8, Lock 7. Totals 24 (5) 15-23 71.