Trojans overcome Hornets in OT

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Andover's Jack Johnson is the 2021 Boys' County Player of the Year. He also won the 2020 award.

ANDOVER, KANSAS—The Andover boy’s basketball team has seen each team’s best shot all season long. That happens when you go undefeated last year and they’ve withstood almost every shot given. 

They did it again on Tuesday night, beating ninth-ranked Valley Center 70-64 in overtime to pick up their 11th win of the season.

“I think it’s a compliment from other teams,” Andover Head Coach Martin Shetlar said. “Other teams always get up for our games. We’ll watch film and then when we play them, they’ll look different.”

Valley Center (10-4) threw what they had at the Trojans and despite taking a late lead, it was Jack Johnson and Co. who responded. 

 “Jack kind of took over,” Shetlar said. “He knew it was his time and he just let it go.”

Johnson, a commit to Dallas Baptist, scored 13 of his 23 points in the game's final two minutes and into overtime. He also finished with 10 rebounds. He reached into the heavens and pulled down a rebound when it was needed, as if it he was Russell Westbrook.

“That’s what Jack does well,” Shetlar said. “He knew we needed some rebounds and went and go them.”

Valley Center used their size in Noah Simmons to attack the Trojans early, jumping out 6-0 but the Trojans used their experience to get back into the game quickly as they would go on a 22-4 run to end the quarter and to try and set the tone.

It was Isaiah Maikori though, who became a difference as his scoring came alive, setting a season high 13 points in the win. He scored an and-one to start the game for Andover and then a put back gave him five early.  He split the lane for a layup to jumpstart the Trojans in overtime.

“They [Valley Center] did a good job of speeding us up,” Shetlar said. “We had to get back into our game and win.”

Valley Center used an 11-0 run to take a 53-50 lead with 5:40 remaining. Then, Johnson took over. 

After Kaleb Gaddis split two free throws, Johnson drove the length of the court for a nice scoop and under layup to tie the game with 4:13 remaining. He then hit a baseline floater to give the Trojans the 55-53 lead with 2:15 remaining.

Johnson would hit a free throw early in the overtime session, never letting the Trojans trail again. 

The Trojans jumped on Valley Center in the overtime period, using the foul trouble of the Hornets to their advantage. They took 12 free throw attempts in the four-minute extra frame, making nine of them.

It’s a good response to a game we should have won,” Shetlar said about beating Valley Center after losing to Salina South on Saturday. “We are still ways away from where we need to be.”

Andover moved up to No. 4 before the win on Tuesday, despite the loss on Saturday. 

“It’s weird, we lose two games and people are asking us what’s wrong with the program,” Shetlar said. “That’s just the level of success we’ve set here.”

The Trojans get no rest in that level as they have to travel to Arkansas City on Friday night. The Bulldogs are 10-3 on the season and will be in the same sub-state with Andover.

“We’ll have to be prepared,” Shetlar said. “That will be another tough one.”

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