The first game of the 36th Newton Invitational Tournament led to the first seeding upset, as fifth-seeded Andover Central used a 19-5 third-quarter to stop Garden City 56-34.


The first game of the 36th Newton Invitational Tournament led to the first seeding upset, as fifth-seeded Andover Central used a 19-5 third-quarter to stop Garden City 56-34.

Central coach Stanna Jefferson said no button had to be pushed to get the team going in the second half.

“It’s something called playing hard,” Jefferson said. “We were getting beat on the boards. We were giving up offensive rebounds and easy putbacks. We were putting them on the line and they were hitting free throws. The question was, ‘We’re we going to play hard or not play hard?’

“At halftime, the girls decided to play hard. I hope we outrebounded them in the third quarter. In the first quarter, when shots aren’t falling, that’s when you have to play hard on defense. We didn’t quite do that in the first or second quarters.”

Cami Gee and Katie Kretchmer each scored 15 points for Central, 7-4. Gee scored 10 in the third quarter. Kretchmer scored seven in the fourth quarter.

Taryn Tempel scored 10 points for Garden City, 7-5.

Down 9-7 midway in the first quarter, the Jags gave up an 8-0 run, capped by a Johna McClelland putback at the buzzer.

Central trailed by as many as nine in the second quarter, but got back within six at the end of the period, 25-19.

Kretchmer scored the first three points of the second half on one of two free throws and a layup. A Gee trey tied the game with 4:51 remaining in the quarter.

Alex Miller broke the run for the Buffs, but Central came back with a pair of layups, the second off a steal, followed by a Gee trey. After another Garden City turnover, Brooke Pedersen buried a trey to put the Jags up by eight. Another turnover set up two Gee turnovers with 2:41 remaining in the quarter. Central added one of two Meg Huelskamp free throws to the run.

Garden City ended the quarter with a layup and one of two free throws to get back within eight, 38-30.

Evan Stamp opened the fourth quarter with a trey. Gee followed with a 10-foot jumper and one of two free throws.

The Buffs managed just four of six free throws for their fourth-quarter scoring.

Andover Central plays at 6:30 p.m. today in the semifinals. Garden City plays at 3 p.m. in the consolation semifinals.

“We’d better come out a heck of a lot more focused and ready to play than we did at 3 p.m. today,” Jefferson said.