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Maize South flurry staggers Spartans

Published Feb. 11 at 11:32 p.m. | Last updated Feb. 12 at 7:59 a.m.

The effect of the Maize South boys hitting four three-pointers in the first quarter Tuesday night at Collegiate felt more like a punch to Spartans coach Mitch Fiegel.

And the punch stunned Collegiate for 16 minutes as Maize South won 57-53 for its seventh straight victory, despite a furious second-half comeback by the Spartans.

“I give (Maize South senior) Brett Barney credit,” said Fiegel, whose team trailed by 17 at the half. “He hasn’t been knocking down a lot of threes, and he said, ‘hey, you’re not on me, I’m taking this shot. Boom, boom. He hit two threes (in the first minute) and I just didn’t feel like we responded.

“He threw the first blow. We got staggered, and we stayed staggered for about 15 more minutes.”

Barney made 3 of 3 threes in the period — scoring 10 of his 14 points in the first quarter — and teammate Kellen Filby hit one as Maize South (12-2) built an 11-point lead.

Maize South’s first half impressed coach Kip Schultz. The Mavericks shot 12 of 21 from the field, 4 of 6 from three and led Collegiate 33-16 at the break.

But Schultz wasn’t happy with the finish, as Collegiate held the Mavericks to six third-quarter points. Collegiate outscored Maize South 25-18 in the fourth quarter.

Collegiate sophomore Austin Waddell scored seven of his game-high 18 points in the final period. The Spartans made 1 of 11 threes in the first three periods, then hit 3 of 8 in the final period.

“It felt like a loss to me,” Schultz said.

Fiegel was just as irked as Schultz, saying he’s too old and has coached for too long to accept moral victories.

“It’s a 32-minute game, and we played 16 of them,” Fiegel said. “… That team is going to fix the first 16 minutes.”

Schultz’s frustration with his team is a bit different from Fiegel’s because Maize South won a combined 17 games in the school’s first four seasons.

There’s no doubt the Mavericks have come far.

“We’re in heaven,” Schultz said. “We fought for two wins the first year, two wins, five wins, eight wins.… Some of the things we’ve tried to do all along are coming to fruition. So we knew it was there. We’re just thankful the administration and parents stuck with us.

“Because I really do feel like, if we get things the way we want them and play mentally tough, we can make a run.”

Maize South showed balance with Payten Ricks adding 12 points, and Filby scoring 13, hitting 3 of 3 threes, including two in 30 seconds early in the fourth.

But committing 21 turnovers looked too much like last season when the Mavericks averaged 24 a game.

Even so, Schultz admitted that if the Mavericks had been in a similar game last season, they likely wouldn’t have won.

“They started coming back — last year, there was no way we would have stayed up and won this game,” said junior Kade Kordonowy, who scored a team-high 16 points, hitting 5 of 6 free throws in the final 37 seconds. “We would have lost it, folded, they would have beat us by 15-20. This year we were able to hang on and win.”

Maize South191461857
Collegiate88122553

Maize South: Kordonowy 16, Barney 14, Ricks 12, Filby 13, Koster 2.

Collegiate: Dick 2, Copher 8, Chugg 1, Larsen 3, Adams 12, Wadsell 18, Reed 7, Newlin 2.