Daily Union Sports Editor
---- — Central A&M girls closed in on their 4th straight Macon County Championship by bucking the Broncos on Friday, 71-47, then icing Maroa in the title game, 53-48.
Central A&M’s press kept hammering away until they wore the Cerro Gordo-Bement Broncos down. After running them to ground they fed on their carcass. They took the upper hand in the 1st, leading by six points, 20-14. The margin grew in the 2nd to 18 points with the help of a 20-8 run for a 40-22 lead.
The Raiders pulled in their horns a bit in the 3rd and the Broncos slid back into the saddle. The Raiders still went up by 24 points heading into the 4th, 56-32. Down the stretch, the best the Broncos could do was match the Raiders, 15-15, sending the Raiders to the Macon County title game.
Kaley Hennings led A&M with 17 points, scoring seven times from the floor, including a a trey and 2-of-3 at the line. Ryan Dooley was almost as ravenous, scoring six times from the floor and making 3-of-5 from the floor.
MIkah Maples was the third Raider in double figures, scoring 10 points, and two more players almost made double-digits. Taylor Jordan and Kayla Gibson scored nine points. Gibson had a trey hat trick and Jordan had one trey and was 2-of-2 at the stripe. Cerro Gordo-Bement also had three players in double figures, but not much else.
Central A&M 71, Cerro Gordo 47
A&M stats: Hennings 17 (6-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 2/3 FTs), Dooley 15 (6 FGs, 3/5 FTs), Maples 10 (4 FGs, 2/5 FTs), T. Jordan 9 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 2/2 FTs), Gibson 9 (3-3 pt FGs), Hilton 4 (2 FGs), O. Jordan 4 (2 FGs), Damery 2 (2/2 FTs), Dailey 1 (1/2 FTs). Team FGs 27. 3-Pointers: 5 (Gibson 3, T. Jordan, Hennings). Team FTs 12-of-19.
CG-B stats: Shook 17 (3-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 5/12 FTs), Blunt 12 (5 FGs, 2/4 FTs), Ma. Lawler 10 (4 FGs, 2/5 FTs), Krigbaum 4 (2 FGs), Connor 2 (FG), Gifford 2 (FG). Team FGs 18. 3-Pointers: 2 (Shook). Team FTs 9-of-19.
A&M was not assured of a title this year, but when the smoke cleared, they earned it once more in a tough contest.
Maroa held a slight lead after the 1st period, 10-7. A&M then made their run. The Raiders passed Maroa with a 19-11 run for 5-point lea at the break, 26-21. Maroa regrouped in the locker room and forced a tie heading into the 4th, 36-36.
The championship came down to crunch time. That’s when the cream rose to the top. Taylor Jordan, who led the Raiders with a 22-point performance, made it all count in the final moments. Jordan was 7-of-8 at the line for the game, making 6-of-6 in the final minute to ice the game.
Jordan scored outside the arc (recording a trey hat trick), inside the arc three times and all those free throws. Once again, Hennings and Dooley scored in double figures. Hennings had 12 points with a trey and 3-of-4 at the line. Dooley had 10 points with her own trey. Olivia Jordan also hit a trey, but it was Taylor, Hennings, and Dooley that carried the weight in the win.
Maroa out-rebounded A&M 37 to 24, but also had turned the ball over 10 more times, 29 to 19. The teams were about even at the line. A&M shot 27% from the arc (6-of-22), but Maroa just 12.5% (1-of-8).
Central A&M 53, Maroa 48
A&M stats: T. Jordan 22 (3-2s, 3-3 pt FGs, 7/8 FTs), 3 steals, 2 assists; Hennings 12 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 3/4 FTs), Dooley 10 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), 5 steals, 3 assists; O. Jordan 3 (FG), Hilton 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs), Damery 2 (2/2 FTs), Maples 1 (1/2 FTs),4 rebounds, 2 steals. Team FGs 16. 3-Pointers: 6 (T. Jordan 3, O. Jordan, Dooley, Hennings). Team FTs 15-of-20. Rebounds 24. Turnovers 19.
Maroa stats: Flesner 17 (5 FGs, 7/10 FTs), Berry 16 (6 FGs, 4/5 FTs), Finck 7 (2 FGs, 3/3 FTs), Beckman 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs), Hulva 3 (FG), Weis 2 (2/2 FTs). Team FGs 15. 3-Pointers: 1 (Hulva). Team FTs 17-of-22. Rebounds 37. Turnovers 29.