No. 2 Jaguars take care of business over Valley Center

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Brittany Harshaw goes up for a shot against Valley Center on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at Andover High School. The Creighton commit had 29 points in the 62-50 win over Valley Center.

ANDOVER, KANSAS — The second-ranked team in Class 5A took care of business on Tuesday night, beating the Valley Center Hornets 55-55 at Andover Central High.

The Jaguars never trailed and never saw their lead dwindle below 10 in the second half but the Jaguars felt like they could have done better.

"We traded baskets with them in the second half and that's not what we want to do," Andover Central Head Coach Stana Jefferson said. "We know we can be better."

The Jaguars lead 37-20 at the break and it felt as if they were going to be able to put this one away quickly but the Hornets would have none of that. 

Olivia Niedens hit a three, Anna Eldridge scored on a lay up, and Ali Coash hit a three to cut the deficit down to 13 midway through the third.

"We definitely felt we were going to win by more," Senior Jaden Newfarmer said. "We may have looked ahead to [Salina] Central a little bit."

Central had pushed the game out to an 18-point lead by the Hornets never backed down. They fought as they were able to cut it to 58-48 with two minutes remaining but the Jaguars defense forced two turnovers on the final three possessions of the game to seal up the victory.

"This wasn't up to the type of basketball we can play," Junior Ellie Stearns said. 

Junior Brittany Harshaw led all scorers with 29 points, with 15 in the first half. 

Eldridge led the Hornets with 19 points. Coash had 16 for Valley Center as well. 

Next, the Jaguars get a battle with Salina Central (4-0) at home on Thursday night. 

"They always play us tough," Newfarmer said. "We get up for the bigger games."

Last year, Andover Central beat the Lady Mustangs 63-42 at Andover Centrla High School.

"We'll have to play a lot better than we did tonight."

Valley Center - 9;11;17;13; - 50

Andover Central - 20;17;15;10; - 62

VC: Eldridge 19, Coash 16, Niedens 5, Brittain 3, Kinnigurgh 3, Oliverson 2, George 2

AC: Harshaw 29, Wilborn 12, Amekporfor 10, Newfarmer 8, Stearns 3

Valley Center (1-4)

FG: 18/36 (50%) 3PT: 6/15 (40%) FT: 8/8 (100%) TO: 13

Andover Central (3-0)

FG: 29/54 (53.7%) 3PT: 8/22 (36.4%) FT: 4/4 (100%) TO: 5

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.