By: Kevin Thompson, KSHSAA Covered Contributor
DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSHSAA Covered) – Macksville’s first state title came in 2006, before most of this year’s team was born. The second came in 2011, when they were just kids.
The next generation of the Mustangs made it a third title with a 73-62 win over Wichita-Classical Saturday night.
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Senior Lance Lickiss led the team with 20 points and 12 rebounds, one of four players in double figures in what was truly a team effort.
Lickiss had seen Classical play the night before and knew what to expect: fast and furious. But it was the third quarter that turned the tide when his team outscored the Saints 17-9.
“The past several games we’ve come out the third quarter–that’s our strongest quarter. We lock down on defense and move the ball really good, and we always run the floor a lot faster,” he said. “I had a feeling that was going to happen after halftime and we definitely did.”
Tied 40-40 at halftime, Macksville went on a 12-2 run to widen the gap, just as Lickiss had hoped. The Saints made a mini run at the end but still trailed 57-49 at the break.
Scoring was tougher for both teams in the final period, and Classical got to within 61-56, the closest they would get. The Mustangs closed the game with 8-for-8 free throws to lock up the title.
“It was a very good night for free throws,” Lickiss said. “We put them down (19 for 25); that’s the best we’ve shot this year.”
Both teams were on fire in the opening quarter, with Macksville taking a 15-11 lead before half the period was done. They both shot over 50 percent the first half, leading to the 40-40 tie.