Cougars Drop Pair of Games at Hutch

GIRLS: Hutchinson 56, Salina South 31

For first year head coach Justin Ebert, it is evident that his squad has the ability to compete, particularly on the defensive end. But there is much work to be done on the offensive side, and that was the biggest hurdle in a 25-point defeat to the still unbeaten Hutchinson Salthawks.

The taller Salthawks used a full-court press and tough half-court defense to make it difficult for the Cougars to operate offensively. South got three-pointers from Sydney Peterson, Kylie Arnold, and Kalysa Hamel to stay close early as the Cougars trailed 16-11 after one.

But the looks from the outside evaporated for a while after that. Turnovers plagued South and led to easy scoring chances for the Salthawks, who really were not getting any production in their half-court offense as they tried to deal with the Cougars’ zone defense. It did the job limiting Hutch to one shot most possessions, but the inability to take care of the basketball allowed the Salthawks to pull away.

Hutch (4-0) led 25-13 at the half and 43-22 after three quarters. Peterson led South (1-4) with nine points.

BOYS: Hutchinson 55, Salina South 38

Much like Tuesday’s 34-point loss at Maize South, the Cougars started slow and fell behind by multiple possessions against the Salthawks. However, unlike the game on Tuesday, South did not allow themselves to be completely buried by the early avalanche and battled to stay in the game for the better part of the night. But a lack of offensive consistency cost them a chance to make a second half comeback.

The Cougars got the first basket of the game on a fastbreak put-back by Layson Sajdak. They did not score again in the first quarter and trailed 11-2 after one. The offense picked up in the second quarter, but the same could be said for the Salthawks who built a 17-point lead before Quevon Purucker banked in a three-pointer just before the halftime horn to make it 31-17 at the break.

South (1-4) began the third quarter with a mini run to pull within ten points. But Hutch (2-2) responded with an 8-2 run to take a 44-28 lead into the fourth and the Cougars did not get closer than 12 the rest of the way.

Purucker led South with eight points.