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South Boys Roll Past Sacred Heart

Mike Hammett - January 21, 2014 10:31 pm

The Salina South boys basketball team is starting to realize its potential.

Fresh off two wins last week, the Cougars made it a winning streak on Tuesday night, taking their third straight game. The sixth seeded Cougars defeated third seed and visiting Sacred Heart 62-47 at the South High gym in the first round of the 2014 Salina Invitational Tournament.

The Cougars opened strong, especially on defense. South scored the game’s first six points, and led 12-3 after a quarter, holding Sacred Heart without a field goal until the 6:04 mark of the first half.

South continued to pull away in the second quarter, going up double digits on Justin Stonebraker’s three-pointer to open the quarter. The Cougars led by 14 at 21-7 on a basket by Stonebraker, before back-to-back Sacred Heart baskets by Jerod Toogood and Austin Kack brought the Knights back within 10 at 21-11.

It was 23-13 with around 30 seconds to go in the half when Zach Nachbar knocked down a three for South to push the lead to 13. It was followed immediately by a steal at mid-court and a three by Stonebraker to quickly push the Cougar lead to 16 at 29-13. South led 29-15 at halftime.

In the second half, it was more of the same. With Sacred Heart back within 13 at 32-19 on a basket by Kane Comfort, South went on a 7-0 run, including another three by Stonebraker. The Cougars led by 20 at 39-19. South maintained the lead through three quarters at 46-26.

In the final frame, Sacred Heart used the press against South’s reserves to tighten the gap, but South hit free throws down the stretch to pick up the 62-47 win.

Stonebraker led South with 19 points while Nachbar added a career-high 17 and Drew Hilt added a career-high 7. Tate Richards had 11 points to pace Sacred Heart.

Salina South improves to 5-5 on the year, while Sacred Heart drops to 7-3. The Cougars play Abilene at 8:15pm Thursday at the Bicentennial Center in the championship semifinals. That game can be heard on SportsRadio 1150 KSAL. Sacred Heart will play at 4:45pm on Thursday against Clay Center. That game can be heard online at ksal.com by clicking on the Sports Stream under the “On-Air” drop down menu.