Andover Central girls punch ticket back to state


Andover Central girls basketball coach Stana Jefferson has been coaching long enough to feel like she has a pretty good read on the potential of her teams.

When the Jaguars lost three of their first four games this season, Jefferson was surprised when she heard rumbles of a possible rebuilding season after the team graduated its two best players from a third-place team at the state tournament.

“To me, that just fired me up even more. It was like, ‘Okay, bring on the challenge,’” Jefferson said. “I’ve worked with these girls for a long time. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I just had to get them in the right spots and the right mindset and I knew we would have a chance.”

Jefferson’s suspicions proved true, as Andover Central’s new-look team found its groove and finished off another trip to the Class 5A state tournament on Friday with a 39-27 win over Hutchinson in a sub-state championship game.

The Jaguars (17-5) head back to the state tournament for the fourth straight year, while the quest for the first state berth since 2007 came up short for Hutchinson (16-6).

“We started the season off totally under the radar, but I knew in the back of mind that my younger kids were talented,” Jefferson said. “I’m proud of these kids for sticking it out and waiting their turn and after Christmas, we really figured out who we are.”

That identity was on full display on Friday when Andover Central played smothering defense to hold Hutchinson to 27 points, the fewest points the Salthawks have scored in a game this season other than their two Derby games.

“We always say around here that our best offense is our defense,” Jefferson said. “We drill defense, defense, defense every day. I have to make sure the girls are in shape to do that and they just work so hard to pull it off. They trust each other and we believe in our defense.”

Senior Maddi Amekporfor (12.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 4.4 steals) has been a steady presence, while fellow seniors Jaylee Jefferson, Savanna Weidler and Jordan Fleske have also helped with leadership roles.

Hayden Snodgrass, a junior, has blossomed as the team’s leading scorer this season at 14.2 points per game, while sophomore Taylin Tabor and junior Haven Deckinger have each delivered in key moments this season.

“I’m super proud of these girls and they feed off the senior’s confidence,” Jefferson said. “They just trust each other and believe in each other. It’s not about one kid on the team. They knew it was going to take all of them and they had to be great on defense because we are not a very big team.”

Across town, Andover wrapped up a 20-2 season with a 42-35 win over Salina Central to punch its ticket back to the state tournament for the first time since 2013. Bishop Carroll (20-2) also cruised to a 67-32 win over Hays to qualify for the second straight season.

Friday’s Kansas high school basketball game scores

Class 6A boys sub-state championships

BV North 59, Blue Valley 48

BV Northwest 56, Olathe Northwest 51

Derby 74, Washburn Rural 72 (4 OT)

Garden City 46, Junction City 43

Manhattan 56, Lawrence 40

Olathe North 67, BV West 61 (OT)

SM Northwest 73, Olathe West 64

Wichita Heights 61, Wichita Northwest 43

Class 5A girls sub-state championships

Andover 42, Salina Central 35

Andover Central 39, Hutchinson 27

Bishop Carroll 67, Hays 32

Emporia 42, Maize South 32

Highland Park 51, Shawnee Heights 50

St. James Academy 66, Bonner Springs 44

St. Thomas Aquinas 59, Spring Hill 29

Topeka Seaman 57, Kansas City Piper 25

Class 4A boys sub-state championships

Atchison 46, Topeka Hayden 43

Baldwin 65, Holton 47

Bishop Miege 71, Labette County 38

Clay Center 51, Pratt 36

Eudora 46, Wamego 29

Hugoton 83, Rock Creek 42

McPherson 49, Andale 37

Wellington 65, Circle 41

Class 3A boys semifinals

Eureka sub-state

Humboldt 53, Wichita Trinity Academy 52

Wichita Collegiate 88, Fredonia 37

Lyons sub-state

Haven 59, Cheney 41

Hesston 68, Kingman 44

Class 2A girls semifinals

Belle Plaine sub-state

Wichita Independent 43, Garden Plain 33

Bluestem 38, West Elk 26

Hillsboro sub-state

Hillsboro 38, Salina Sacred Heart 25

Bennington 46, Chase County 41

Sterling sub-state

Berean Academy 45, Moundridge 20

Remington 57, Inman 41

Saturday’s KSHSAA postseason basketball schedule

Class 6A girls

No. 9 Wichita East (11-10) at No. 1 Derby (19-2), 6 p.m.

No. 7 Wichita Southeast (15-6) at No. 2 Liberal (17-3), 6

No. 6 Wichita South (15-6) at No. 3 Lawrence (17-4), 6

Class 5A boys

No. 8 Hays (13-8) at No. 1 Kapaun Mt. Carmel (20-1), 5

No. 7 Topeka West (14-7) at No. 2 Hutchinson (20-1), 5

No. 6 Emporia (15-5) at No. 3 Andover (19-2), 6

No. 5 Andover Central (17-4) at No. 4 Maize South (18-3), 6

Class 4A girls

No. 8 Chapman (13-8) at No. 1 Wellington (20-1), 6

No. 7 Rock Creek (14-7) at No. 2 McPherson (19-2), 6

No. 11 Mulvane (10-11) at No. 3 Andale (18-3), 6

No. 5 Circle (15-6) at No. 4 Hugoton (16-5), 5

Class 3A

Eureka sub-state

Girls: No. 1 Eureka (20-2) vs. No. 2 Neodesha (18-4), 5:30 p.m.

Boys: No. 1 Humboldt (19-3) vs. No. 2 Wichita Collegiate (19-3), 7

Lyons sub-state

Girls: No. 1 Cheney (20-2) vs. No. 2 Hesston (17-5), 5:30 p.m.

Boys: No. 1 Hesston (21-1) vs. No. 2 Haven (21-1), 7

Class 2A

Belle Plaine sub-state

Boys: No. 4 Belle Plaine (13-9) vs. No. 2 Wichita Independent (20-2), 5:30 p.m.

Girls: No. 1 Wichita Independent (18-4) vs. No. 2 Bluestem (17-5), 7

Hillsboro sub-state

Boys: No. 4 Salina Sacred Heart (13-9) vs. No. 2 Bennington (18-4), 5:30 p.m.

Girls: No. 1 Hillsboro (19-3) vs. No. 2 Bennington (17-5), 7

Sterling sub-state

Boys: No. 4 Sterling (17-5) vs. No. 2 Moundridge (19-3), 5:30 p.m.

Girls: No. 1 Berean Academy (21-1) vs. No. 2 Remington (17-5), 7


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