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Maize South beats Andover 56-54

Published Dec. 7 at 2:17 p.m. | Last updated Dec. 7 at 5:16 p.m.

For four years, Maize South was used to not coming up with the loose ball, used to not making the important free throw, used to not being able to close out a victory.

This Maize South upperclassmen are ready to start getting used to something new.

They started on Friday with a 56-54 victory over visiting Andover, a win over a state-qualifying team and one that could signify the Mavericks are ready for new things this season.

“We got beat down the last couple of years and a lot of people have been talking bad about us for four years now,” Maize South junior Kade Kordonowy said. “We’ve gotten tired of it and we’re ready to step up and start winning.”

This had no signs of a fluke.

Andover rarely held a lead in the second half because it never established 6-foot-6 senior Adam DeKoning in the post, who went scoreless in three of the four periods. He scored all nine points in the third period and finished with eight rebounds.

The Trojans were outrebounded 29-26, committed 17 turnovers, and shot 2 of 12 from the three-point line.

“We just got out-played by Maize South,” Andover coach Chad Wilmott said. “They wanted it a lot more than us. They took us completely out of what we wanted to do.”

Maize South still showed it's in the early stages of becoming a winning program by the way it closed the game.

The Mavericks played their best in a 3-minute stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter, turning a 45-44 deficit into a 54-47 lead on a Kellen Filby corner three-pointer with 2:47 remaining.

Then their inexperience was brought to the forefront. They shot an ill-advised three-pointer, turned the ball over on an illegal screen, and then allowed an open three that Austin Beahm (16 points) converted on the other end to allow Andover to whittle the lead to 55-54 with 17 seconds left.

“But the thing was, we didn’t make as many mistakes as we would have a year ago,” Maize South coach Kip Schultz said. “We might have done that in the first half a year ago and the game might have already been put away.”

Maize South found a way to inject drama into its ending, as it lost control of the ball near mid-court trying to protect the 1-point lead. It was a loose ball that has seemingly never gone Maize South’s way.

But this time, Kordonowy (14 points, 8 rebounds) emerged from the scrum with possession. Before the referee had time to signal in the foul call, Kordonowy had sprinted to the foul line.

He was ready to write a different ending to the script.

“This is maybe the biggest win we’ve ever gotten,” said Kordonowy.

Andover attempted a shot at the win, but senior Ryan Bezdek’s off-balanced corner three-pointer fell short.

One win doesn’t change a program, but it is a start for the Mavericks.

“No one has ever believed in us,” said Maize South senior Brett Barney, who finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds. “We’ve always been the underdog because nobody thought we could do it. Even when we were losing, we believed. And now we believe more than ever.”

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ANDOVER: Bezdek 10, Klusener 7, Beahm 16, Brown 6, DeKoning 9, White 2, Seabrook 2, Norlin 2, Jobe 0, Brown 0, Barclay 0.

MAIZE SOUTH: Ricks 4, Filby 12, Pentecost 8, Kordonowy 14, Barney 15, Mormando 0, Martin 0, Domnick 1, Lee 2.