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Andover girls edge Eisenhower

Published Feb. 18 at 11:08 p.m. | Last updated Feb. 18 at 11:09 p.m.

During warmups Tuesday night, the Andover girls basketball team sported new white shooting shirts emblazoned with “RW” across the front as a nod to the Trojans’ theme of “redemption week.”

The point of the theme, an idea by assistant Matt Hobbs, is for Andover to redeem themselves against two teams that beat them earlier in the season (Eisenhower and Salina Central) and another team that Andover beat by one (Maize South) in the season opener.

Andover got the week started right by beating visiting Eisenhower 50-48 to put itself in prime position to win the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division II title. Andover (12-4, 9-1) has a one-game lead over Andover Central and two games over Eisenhower.

“We have three tough games this week,” said Andover sophomore Lexi Tilson, who finished with 14 points and got a steal to seal the win. “We played our hearts out in this game, and we have two more games. We have to play like we know how to play.”

Andover controlled the game early, taking a 17-2 lead early in the second quarter, scoring four times off Eisenhower turnovers.

“We struggled to get good looks, rushed some shots. We weren’t rebounding the ball,” Eisenhower coach Joe Blasi said. “… We were handing (Andover) some turnovers. They were able to score off layups. We weren’t able to get back. Communication was bad. The list goes on.”

With Eisenhower trailing 26-8 with 1:26 to go in the first half, Kilah Hoenscheidt hit three three-pointers in the span of 27 seconds to cut the lead to 26-17 heading into the half. Hoenscheidt finished with a game-high 18 points.

Prior to Hoenscheidt’s run, Eisenhower had made 3 of 18 shots.

The Tigers had runs of 11-0 and 10-3 in the second and third quarters.

“We got off to a great start, and in the second half, we fiddled around a little bit, turning the ball over, took some quick shots,” Andover coach Max Hamblin said.

Andover, which never trailed, led 44-40 midway through the fourth. But as the Trojans started to stall in the final four minutes, they turned it over two straight possessions and Eisenhower tied the score on consecutive baskets by Jaden Damon.

Junior Jaylyn Agnew, who had 16 points, hit a three with 2:29 to go for the lead Andover wouldn’t lose.

Andover only made 3 of 6 free throws in the final 56 seconds, so with 8.9 seconds to go, Eisenhower, down by two, had a chance to tie or win.

Tilson got the steal to end the game.

“I was trying to look at the ball, see where it’s at, see if I could get a steal, and I did,” Tilson said.

The loss was disappointing for Eisenhower (13-4) because a win would have meant a three-way tie for the league title with Andover Central and Andover.

“We made this game out to be for the league championship,” Blasi said. “… As far as Andover goes, I don’t think they’re going to lose another game.”

Eisenhower21519248
Andover1511141050

Eisenhower: Hoenscheidt 18, Minor 4, Blasi 4, King 5, Teufel 2, Damon 11, Miller 2, Hochstein 2.

Andover: Agnew 16, Routhier 2, Tilson 14, Messina 9, Day 4, Meisch 2, Preboth 3.