Going into Friday’s contest with Hutchinson, Salina South girls basketball coach Ryan Stuart mentioned toughness would be the only thing that would matter.
He was right.
The Cougars forced 20 turnovers, South limited Hutchinson to nine points in the second half, and Salina South snapped a three-game losing skid with a 36-23 victory over the Salthawks. For the first time under coach Stuart, Salina South swept the season series with Hutch.
Hutchinson (6-12, 2-8 AVCTL-I) also prides itself on gritty defense as the Salthawks combined with the Cougars for just nine points in the opening frame, leading 5-4. The Salthawks increased the margin to three following a three from Jaydin Elmore, but the Cougars countered with a 6-0 spurt, giving them their first advantage of the game.
After a 14-14 tie at halftime, Salina South (6-12, 3-7) tried to push away in the third, but Hutch knotted up the score at 19 apiece with 2:35 remaining. The Cougars’ response was stifling defense, holding the Salthawks to just two field goals for the final 10:35 of the tilt.
Senior Camdyn Schreiber paced the Cougars with 10 points, earning the Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Senior Jadyn Zamecnik chipped in seven while freshman Kylie Arnold and junior Lauren Raubenstine each added seven.
Salina South stays in town for senior night as the Cougars welcome in the Maize Eagles on Tuesday. Pregame at 5:45 on Y93.7.
Salina South 58, Hutchinson 38
Much like the Salina South girls basketball team, the boys relied on stout defense to pick up their second consecutive victory.
South (8-10, 3-7 AVCTL-I) jumped ahead early after a couple triples by sophomore Devon Junghans. The Cougars pushed the margin to six, 13-7, before making a mistake at the end of the quarter. Hutchinson senior Tate Webster was fouled on a made three, allowing the Salthawk to trim the deficit to 13-11 after the four-point play.
Hutchinson (3-15, 0-10) couldn’t use that play for momentum as Salina South outscored Hutch 18-5, building a 31-16 halftime advantage. Salina South would balloon the lead out to as many as 24 points in the final period.
Hutch had no answer for South senior Elex Banks inside, who poured in 19 points for the second straight game, grabbing the title of Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Sophomores Josh Jordan and AJ Johnson added nine each.