In their first-ever game against Goddard, the Maize South High School girls blasted the visiting basketball team 58-17 Friday.
Maize South had little trouble in the first half of its home opener. Junior Grace Aitken’s fast-break layup gave the Mavericks a 30-1 lead midway through the second quarter.
Following another Maize South field goal, freshman Chandler Hansen picked up Goddard’s first bucket near the 2:20 mark. That moved the score to 32-3.
Goddard’s rough night continued when sophomore Megan Graf was injured late in the second quarter and was helped off the court. The Lions trailed 32-3 at halftime.
They fared better early in the third quarter, when freshman Jessica Gardiner and sophomore Jenna Clasen each had a basket. Clasen added a free throw to bring Goddard’s total to eight.
Maize South junior Mariah Suchan said the Lions’ third-quarter spurt was likely a result of their improved play as well as her squad experiencing a letdown.
“With that margin that we had, we probably did (let down) a little bit,” she said, “but they came out with more fire in the second half.”
Maize South headed into the fourth quarter with a comfortable 54-10 lead. Goddard outscored the host 7-4 in the final quarter but lost the game 58-17.
Suchan said the Mavericks were not expecting that type of margin.
“I don’t think we were,” she added. “We were hoping to pull out with a win, and we managed to do it.”
Maize South opened its season Nov. 30 at Andover, which is the No. 6 team in Class 5A, according to the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association rankings. The Mavericks lost 56-34. Suchan recalled that they seemed nervous, and she said they played with more heart against Goddard.
“Playing Andover made me think, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to play this season,’” she continued.
Suchan said she felt reassured after the Mavericks’ performance Friday. They had three players score in double figures. Junior Taylor Mannis contributed a game-high 13 points, followed by Suchan with 12 and senior McKenna Poynter with 11.
Goddard includes five juniors and no seniors. Gardiner and Hansen, both freshmen, led their team with four points apiece.
Maize South will face Salina Central on Tuesday, Dec. 11, in Salina. The Mustangs are ranked No. 2 in 5A.