During the upset bid of No. 1 Campus, the Salina Central boys basketball team lost control in the final 90 seconds.
Twenty-four hours later, the Mustangs weren’t going to let that happen again.
Sophomore point guard Logan Losey drilled four key free throws in the final few minutes to cap off a career-best night, snapping a four-game losing skid for Central with a 55-48 victory over Hutchinson in Salina Friday night. Central pushed its record to 3-4, 1-3 in the AVCTL-I, scoring a big win going into the Salina Invitational Tournament.
Salina Central led wire-to-wire, all thanks to a 10-0 blitz right out of the gate. Hutchinson (0-7, 04-) answered, pulling to within seven at the end of the first, 14-7.
The Mustangs stretch the margin to 13, 21-8, before the Salthawks responded with a 5-0 spurt. Central returned to a 12-point cushion at halftime.
Senior Jevon Burnett opened the second half with back-to-back threes, en route to an 8-2 burst, expanding the lead to 36-20. Hutchinson settled down after a timeout, clawing back to within eight before the Mustangs scratched back for a 42-30 score entering the fourth.
Salina Central left the door open for a comeback. The Mustangs missed two front ends of one-and-ones, and the Salthawks took advantage, cutting the deficit to three 49-46. That’s when Losey stepped to the charity stripe, soaking his first four freebies in the four quarter to seal the deal.
Losey finished with a career-high 14 points. Junior Reed McHenry added 14 while Burnett chipped in 12.
Hutch junior Treyton Peterson paced the Salthawks with 12.
CENTRAL 55, HUTCH 42
Sophomore Hampton Williams scored eight of her season-best 16 points in the fourth, lifting the Mustangs to victory and giving head coach Chris Fear his 200th career victory.
Much like the guys game, Central came out on fire, scoring 7 points in less than 20 seconds. Hutch (4-3, 2-2) didn’t flinch, tying up the game at 10-10 with 2:40 to go in the opening period. Sophomore Aubrie Kierscht changed that with her second triple, one of a few buckets that gave up 10 to start the contest.
After building a 17-14 cushion, the Mustangs locked down defensively, limiting the Salthawks to one field goal in the second. The bucket came with 30 seconds remaining, making the score 27-17 in favor of the Mustangs.
Salina Central added one to the halftime margin twice in the third. However, Hutchinson answered with a 7-0 run, cutting the margin to four, 34-30. The next four points belonged to Central as the Mustangs expanded the advantage to double digits again. The Salthawks fought back to within five, but an 8-0 Central outburst put the game out of reach.
To go with Williams’ 16, Kierscht recorded 18 points. Hutch senior Tina Robertson scored 17 points to lead the Salthawks.
Salina Central now gears up for the Salina Invitational Tournament. The Lady Mustangs are the No. 2 seed, facing off against Concordia. The guys draw the No. 8 slot, dealing with top-seed Andover. The first round begins on Thursday with pregame at 5:45 on Sports Radio 1150 KSAL.
*Photo courtesy of Salina Central athletics*