Daniel Mahurin will never forget Grain Valley High School's boys basketball Senior Night.
Neither will Van Horn coach Daniel Bieser.
“We knew he was their shooter – but we didn't know ANYONE could shoot the basketball the way he did in the first quarter,” Bieser said, managing a smile after Mahurin's monster 18-point first quarter and 25 total points led the Eagles to a 69-46 non-conference home win over the Falcons Tuesday night at Grain Valley.
“I don't think he missed a shot the first quarter. I was so impressed with their offense early and their defense in the second half. They're going to be a team to contend with this season.”
Eagles coach Andy Herbert, whose team improved to 4-1, hopes his counterpart is right.
“I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but we wanted to get Senior Night out of the way early in the season,” Herbert explained, “because it's such an emotional night it can play a role in the outcome of a big game late in the season.
“We had it tonight, the fans were great, Daniel lit it up the first quarter and we played consistent basketball for four quarters. That's a good Van Horn team with a lot of athleticism and talent, and we shut them down pretty well the second half.
“I thought we played really well offensively the first half and really well defensively the second half. They made a couple of runs, and we held them off, and everyone got into the flow of the game.”
Especially Mahurin, who hit all seven of his shots from the floor in the first quarter – including four 3-pointers.
As he left the Eagles locker room following the contest, he was mobbed by friends and family members. He posed for photos, received hugs and high-fives and seemed to savor the moment.
“Senior Nights are always special, and this one was really special for me and the team,” said Mahurin, who is zeroing on 1,000 career points. “On Senior Night, your adrenaline is flowing, the crowd is going crazy and you're hitting every shot – it doesn't get much better than that.
“We have such great fans, and this was actually our first home game, so everyone was real excited. The fact that it was Senior Night made it even better.”
The game featured many unusual scoring angles as Mahurin attracted most of the spotlight. But teammate Cody Ziegler, another senior standout, scored 12 of his 16 points in the second quarter.
Isaiah Gotsis scored 13 of his team-high 16 points in the second quarter to lead Van Horn, which only managed 16 points in the entire second half against the Grain Valley defense.
“I'm sitting between my two coaches and I'm telling them that we're running our offense to perfection, but nothing is falling,” Bieser said after the Falcons fell to 2-3. “Tony (Winningham) and the guys are playing great.
Page 2 of 2 - “They're getting the good open shots, but nothing was falling. If we'd have had anything fall tonight it would have been an exciting game.”