GIRLS: 5A #1 ANDOVER 59, 5A #9 SALINA SOUTH 30
Following a near month long layoff thanks to winter break, and winter storms over the last week, Salina South basketball finally made their 2024 debuts on Friday night, host the Andover Trojans.
The Trojan Ladies entered the night undefeated and ranked #1 in the Class 5A rankings, and they looked every bit the part.
The Cougars battled with Andover early, trailing by just three points at the end of the first quarter, but offensive woes would plague South, allowing the Trojans to create a double-digit halftime advantage.
That would continue in the second half thanks to strong post play from the tandem of Aaliyah Green (24 points) and Alana Shetlar (10 points). The Trojan posts would not only score, but frustrate South’s leading scorer Paityn Fritz, holding her scoreless for the first three quarters.
Tamia Cheeks kept South’s offense going early, scoring seven of her nine points on the night in the opening quarter, but there wouldn’t be enough support from the rest of the Cougars to keep them in the game.
Andover improved to 8-0 on the season, while South falls to 5-2. Both teams will compete in next week’s Salina Invitational Tournament, with Andover the #1 seed taking on Junction City in the opening round, and Salina South the #2 seed taking on Abilene. Both teams will begin play on Thursday.
NEX-TECH WIRELESS PLAYER OF THE GAME – TAMIA CHEEKS
H & R BLOCK OF THE GAME – PAITYN FRITZ
BOYS: ANDOVER 72, SALINA SOUTH 37
A furious start for the Andover offense put the shorthanded South Cougars to bed early on Friday night, as Blake Rucker put up 18 points in the first half, scoring 22 in the game, leading the Trojans to a 24-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, and a 46-20 advantage at halftime.
South would respond with a 9-0 run to start the second half, cutting into the Trojan lead, but Andover would right the ship, and turn on the jets from there.
Josh Kim would take the reins on offense for Andover in the second half, running his total to 21 points on the game.
Salina South was led by 14 points by Jace Humphrey and 11 by Sawyer Walker in the contest.
Andover improves to 5-3 on the season, as they will face Salina Central on Thursday night to open the S.I.T., while Salina South falls to 0-7 on the year and will face top-seed Abilene Thursday in the opening round.
NEX-TECH WIRELESS PLAYER OF THE GAME – JACE HUMPHREY
H & R BLOCK OF THE GAME – GAVIN DEVOE