The last time Salina South was victorious at the Brickhouse, there were last-second heroics.
Salina South senior Devon Junghans didn’t sink a game-winning shot to propel the Cougars to state like in 2013, but the point guard did deliver with a spectacular performance.
Junghans nailed seven threes, classmate Josh Jordan came up clutch in the extra four minutes of play, and the Cougars hung on for a 66-61 overtime victory at Salina Central Friday night. The win moved South to 3-0 while Central dipped to 0-3.
Central logged the first five points on the night, the first three coming from junior Logan Losey on a triple. South countered with 10 consecutive points. The margin would be 10 after the first, thanks to four Junghans treys, putting the Cougars on top 23-13.
The ensuing period was littered with fouls. Both teams combined for 23 fouls in the half, a fair amount taking place in the second. Central took advantage by drilling nine free throws to close the gap. The Mustangs finished off the period with a last-second stickback by senior Reed McHenry, breaking a 31-31 tie.
After leading 47-43 at the end of three, Salina South extended the margin to nine, 52-43. South suffered from numerous turnovers and the Mustangs roared back with 12 straight points to pull ahead 55-52. Junghans seventh and final triple knotted up the score at 55-55. Central turned the ball over on its final possession of regulation. Meanwhile, Colin Schreiber’s jumper at the horn for South was short, forcing the game into overtime.
That’s when Jordan became the difference. Although Jordan’s shots were shot for most of the night, he scored six of his 10 in the extra four minutes. Two of his six came at the free throw line, where South went 0-for-7 in regulation. South sealed the win by making seven of eight in overtime.
Junghans finished with 27 points for the Cougars. Senior Colin Schreiber added 11.
McHenry paced Central with 15 points. Junior Nolan Puckett chipped in 12. Senior Caden Kickhaefer had 10.
CENTRAL 67, SOUTH 39
Salina Central junior Aubrie Kierscht made over 50,000 shots in the offseason.
The extra work paid off.
The Navy basketball commit matched a career-high 32 points, fueling the Lady Mustangs in their fifth straight win over Salina South, 67-39. Central improved to 3-0. South dropped to 0-3.
Both teams traded blows in the first eight minutes. The first period featured two ties and seven lead changes, the final belonging to Central as the Mustangs were on top 15-12.
Salina South hung onto the basketball better in the second frame. After suffering from nine miscues, the Cougars had just two. However, Central’s defense kept the lid on the rim, pushing the margin out to 28-19 at intermission.
Central raced out of halftime and took control of the contest, outscoring South 20-5. Sophomore Elena Herbel registered all five points for South as the Cougars trailed 48-24 after three.
Kierscht finished with 32 points for Central, tying a career high against Campus last season. Kierscht was a perfect six-for-six from three-point range. Sophomore Mykayla Cunningham chipped in 14 points.
Sydney Peterson led the Cougars with nine points.
Salina Central hits the road for the first time when the Mustangs travel to Ark City Tuesday. Pregame at 5:45 on Sports Radio 1150 KSAL.
Salina South hosts AVCTL-I newcomer Maize South. Listen to the game on Y93.7.