Andover Central boys beaten at buzzer

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Andover Central's Skyler Clevenger (11) brings the ball up the court on Saturday Dec. 12 at Wichita High School West in Wichita, Kansas. Clevenger finished with 13 points as the Jaguars lost their second game of the season to Wichita South, 56-53

WICHITA – Andover Central boys basketball coach Tyler Richardson had plenty to look back on following his team’s 56-53 loss to Wichita South on Saturday, a game played at Wichita West High School that was a part of the GWAL/AVCTL challenge.

It was the second three-point loss in as many games for the Jaguars, this one coming after Titan freshman Ashtin Standifer splashed home a long three-pointer at the buzzer to break a 53-all tie.

After the game began as a high-tempo affair thanks to South’s full-court pressure, the pace and scoring grinded to a halt in the fourth quarter. Neither side could go on a run to separate themselves. Down the stretch, Central had several opportunities to score near the basket but came up empty time after time.

“We’re getting where we’re supposed be,” Richardson said. “It drains you when you just miss those easy ones, but our kids fought their tails off. They did everything we asked, they defended very hard. They ran our offense very well, but those looks you get near the basket, when they don’t fall, that messes with your confidence.”

Early on, the Jaguars were able to take advantage on offense when they weren’t turning the ball over. The Titans were very active in trapping and deflecting the ball and they turned the Jaguars over 14 times in the first half.

But when Central was getting shots, they were converting early. Brion Perry hit a pair of first quarter threes and Skyler Clevenger also got going from the outside and added a pair of buckets on drives to the rim.

The Jaguars were forced to play most of the second quarter without Perry after he picked up his third foul. They went to their bench and scrapped and clawed to stay close, only trailing 36-32 at the half.

“We have twelve guys and we can play twelve guys,” Richardson said. “We have an extended bench and I thought guys stepped up when we needed them to.”

Central began to collect more defensive stops and Kamden Wilson’s three-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave the Jags a 47-46 lead.

It was a struggle to score for both sides the rest of the way. It was 52-all and then both teams traded split trips to the free throw line. The Titans had possession with 26.3 seconds to go. They advanced the ball to midcourt and called timeout with 21.8.

Following the timeout, Central played back defensively and they appeared to take South out of their set play, but Standifer dribbled out beyond the left wing and threw up a difficult shot that happened to hit nothing but net as the horn sounded. The Jaguars are now 0-2 with a pair of losses totaling six points.

“We’re frustrated about it, but we’re so proud of the effort that they gave,” Richardson said. “There’s a lot of positives to it and it’s hard to pull away with that after a loss.”

“I keep telling our guys, we don’t want to have our best game in December, but we want to play hard and continue to progress each game.”

ANDOVER CENTRAL 19;13;15;6-53

WICHITA SOUTH 18;18;10;10-56

Central: Perry 16, Clevenger 13, Sears 7, Wilson 7, Ray 6, Stupka 2, Edenfield 2. South: Jones 18, Frierson 12, Standifer 8, Te. Hutton 5, Beach 4, Neal 3, Robinson 2, McCauley 2, Tr. Hutton 2.