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Clevenger's 30 fuels Jags to big win over McPherson

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Andover Central's Skyler Clevenger (1!) attempts a shot over a McPherson defender on Saturday, Feb. 13. Clevenger scored 29 points to help the Jaguars to the win over Bullpups.

ANDOVER—A lot of people laugh when you call someone “the best two-win team in the state.”

It’s what could be said about Andover Central boys after losing nine players off last year’s state to tournament team. There have been tough losses and the wins have come few and far between. 

However, on frigid Saturday inside the Jungle, the Jaguars knocked off the 4A's ninth-ranked McPherson Bullpups, 54-42.

“I told them I’m so happy to watch them grow and get better,” Andover Central Head Coach Tyler Richardson said. 

The Jaguars did it from the start by forcing a turnover to go up early. They jumped on McPherson (7-8) and never let up. Brian Perry’s layup with 3:48 remaining in the first put the Jags up seven. The lead would only balloon from there.

“We’re working on our composure,” junior Skylar Clevenger said. “We didn’t do well against Andover last night. We really stepped up tonight.”

Matt Sears gave Central the 18-6 lead through offensive rebounding, something the Jaguars dominated on the night. Anytime they needed a rebound for a score, it was the Jaguars who found the ball at the right time. 

After McPherson had cut the lead to 20-12, it was Clevenger that came through for Central. The Junior nailed a three with 3:01 remaining to put the Jags up 24-12 and forcing a McPherosn timeout. 

“I’m still getting used to this role,” Clevenger said. “It was much difference than last year but I really like it.”

The junior finished with 30 points on the night and it was always him that came through when it mattered. His three to open the third quarter after McPherson had cut it to six gave them breathing room again and late in the fourth when McPherson was trying to push, it was Clevenger once again, hitting a big shot to push the Jags up by double digits once again. 

When McPherson hit, the Jaguars hit back. 

“That’s something we’re working on,” Richardson said. “We’re seeing the growth in this time right now and it’s special.”

For Andover Central, Perry had nine points and Max Holcomb had seven points. Matt Sears contributed eight points.

“When Max [Holcomb] or Brian [Perry] are getting shots to fall, even Matt [Sears] it makes our offense easier for everyone,” Richardson said.

McPherson now has four of their last five games and six of their last eight games.

The win puts Andover Central at 3-9 on the season and with three games in a week, the room for error is minimal for the Jaguars. Unfortunately, Andover Central will be the fifth seed in a loaded sub-state. Tuesday’s game against Arkansas City could be a first round match up preview.

“This feels like a flip the switch type of game,” Clevenger said. ”It’s one we needed and we can really build off of it.”

Andover Central 53, McPherson 42

McPherson—8;11;13;10—42

Andover Central—18;9;13;14—54

MAC: Madron 5 (0) 2-2 12, Alexander 1 (2) 0-4 8, Gibbs 2 (0) 2-4 6, Dukes 1 (1) 0-2 5, Elliott 1 (1) 0-0 5, Miller 2 (0) 0-0 4, Buckbee 1 (0) 0-0 2. TOTALS: 13 (4) 4-12 42.

AC: Clevenger 1 (6) 10-14 30, Perry 3 (0) 3-4 9, Sears 2 (0) 4-8 8, Holcomb 2 (1) 0-1 7. TOTALS: 8 (7) 16-26 53.

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.