It was a storybook ending in the home of fairy tales for the Central girls basketball team.
The Indians moved to 6-3 with a 62-32 win over South Fayette out of Pennsylvania in Monday’s KSA Events Holiday Tournament Championship game, capping a perfect 3-0 trip to Orlando, Florida, in the days following Christmas.
While a lack of knowledge of teams from all over the country to the distractions of being in the Theme Park Capital of the World could have swayed focus, head coach Jared Boone didn’t see any such thing in his young group.
“Some of that comes from not really being able to have a gameplan or practice or any type of scout,” Boone said. “The maturity of them doing it on their own, watching film in their down time, reading what scout we could come up with and them understanding what we’re doing — that showed me a lot of maturity.”
The Indians got the job done with defense and balanced scoring, as no team scored more than 42 points against the Indians. On offense, the Indians never had a player score more than 11 points as sophomore Ella Moody was named tournament most valuable player.
“I think being able to have multiple people able to step up on any given night is only gonna help players like Ella and Lauren (Eiman), especially when we get into this conference season,” Boone said. “It’s gonna make us hard to scout and gameplan for because you don’t really know who’s gonna go off. There’s always that threat of those two being able to take over and dominate late in the game or at times. It’s a great luxury to have.”
The trip moves the Indians to 603 ahead of a conference slate that will see games against Truman, Oak Park, Liberty North and Staley over a 10-day span. Central will also play Class 4 power Lincoln Prep — looking to avenge a three-point loss — which is ranked No. 3 in the state. Central’s lone other losses are to Class 4 No. 2 Kearney by three and Kansas powerhouse Bishop Miege.
Aside from a 58-33 loss to Miege, Central has allowed 40 points just twice — a 30-47 loss to Lincoln Prep and 64-42 win to open the KSA Tournament.
“That’s one thing we talk about. We’re not always gonna make shots every night, but our defense has to show up every single night,” Boone said. “Our girls have bought into the fact that we have to play defense first. That always has to show up because we can control how we play on the defensive end.”
Central’s return to the court comes at 7 p.m. Monday at Truman.