Central blasts De Soto, advances to 5A semifinals

The De Soto Wildcats led Salina Central 5-4 midway through the first quarter, frustrating the Mustangs early with their defense, but Central’s veterans would rally the troops, ending the quarter on a 7-0 run to take control. 


They would never look back. 


Central would score the first 12 points of the second quarter, and outscore De Soto 29-7 in the period to take a commanding 40-12 lead into the locker room. 


Chaliscia Samilton, Central’s 6-foot post presence, was hampered for much of the contest with foul trouble. Tallying just 10 minutes in the game before fouling out, Samilton made the most of her time on the floor, scoring nine points, pulling in four rebounds, and blocking two shots. 


Despite not having Samilton for nearly three quarters of the contest, Central’s other 6-foot post made up for what was missed. Hampton Williams, an Abilene Christian signee, led the Mustangs with 15 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. She also would dish three assists, and block three shots. 


Williams’ strong effort earned her both the H&R Block of the Game award and the Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game award as well. 


Mykayla Cunningham scored 14 points, and handed out six assists, Aubrie Kierscht would add 12 points, and Landry Stewart would score nine points as well, in perhaps Central’s most well-rounded win of the season. 


Salina Central would utilize Samilton, Williams, and a host of other players to take firm control on the contest and win going away, 69-34. The victory improved Salina Central’s record to 23-0 on the year and secured their second-straight 5A State Semifinal appearance. In fact, the last time Central lost a game was in the 2021 State Semifinal to AVCTL-rival Andover Central. 


Salina Central will take on the winner of Lansing and Emporia on Friday night at 8 PM from White Auditorium in Emporia. The game will be broadcast live on 1150 KSAL and 106.7 FM.


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