Tigers survive scare from Maize South
GODDARD For 16 minutes Tuesday night, the Eisenhower boys put on a show, displaying their myriad talents.
Crisp, quick passes to find the open teammate inside or on the perimeter for the three. Quick hands defensively, physical play inside.
And oh, those high-flying plays. The emphatic, monstrous dunk by Tyler Buchanan and the alley-oop dunk by Trevon Evans, both in the second quarter.
But Eisenhower, ranked second in Class 5A, improved to 8-0 by hanging on to beat visiting Maize South 52-51.
“In the first half we played as well as we’ve played all season,” Eisenhower coach Steve Blue said. “Second half we played as bad as ever since I’ve been coach.
“… The whole second half, we wanted to get the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs,’ instead of getting fundamental basketball. If we’re going to be an ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ team, the fans might like plays, but we’re not going to like the end results.”
While Maize South led 7-3 two minutes in, Eisenhower answered with an 11-0 run and led 34-18 at the half. The Tigers shot 12 of 25 from the field and forced 12 turnovers.
When Eisenhower senior Matt Morris picked up his second foul in the first quarter, Tyler Buchanan came off the bench and hit all four shots. He finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
The second half was a reversal for both teams. While Eisenhower had an amazing dunk, driving down the lane, by freshman Matt Pile in the final seconds of the third quarter, the rest was spotty for the Tigers.
They shot 3 of 16 in the second half and had seven fourth-quarter turnovers.
“Instead of passing the ball around, we’re trying to break the press by ourselves,” Blue said. “We weren’t doing very smart things. Maize South played unselfish, and they outplayed us by a long shot in the second half.”
Maize South went on a 16-7 run in the third quarter but still trailed 51-40 with 3:44 to go. The Mavericks forced five turnovers in the final 3:04 and scored six straight over a 30-second period to get within 51-48.
“At the half … we challenged them to not allow them to be so full of themselves and take things where they wanted to go,” Maize South coach Kip Schultz said. “You don’t let (Eisenhower) run where they want because they’re No. 1 or 2 in the state. You come out and say you’ll knock them off the pedestal.”
Eisenhower made 1 of 6 free throws in the final 3:30, and Maize South’s Kade Kordonowy hit a three with nine seconds to go to get within one.
Kordonowy then stole the ball, but Maize South didn’t have any timeouts and failed to get a shot off as time expired.
Kordonowy finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Brett Barney had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
“We just had to keep playing, face adversity there,” said Evans, who had 17 points. “It was a tough win, but we’ll take it.”
MAIZE SOUTH: Kordonowy 17, Pentecost 5, Barney 14, Ricks 9 Mormando 2, Martin 4.
EISENHOWER: Evans 17, Southworth 1, Morris 3, Strunk 5, Stemple 9, Buchanan 15, Pile 2.