Ell-Saline wrapped up its regular season action on the hardwood Monday night, taking on in-county rival Southeast of Saline. The Trojans took care of business in front of the Senior Night crowd, claiming a sweep of the night’s festivities.
In the girls’ matchup, junior forward Molly Chitty scored all 14 Trojan points in the first quarter, helping Southeast of Saline out to a 14-13 lead after one quarter of play. Despite connecting on just four more shots the rest of the night, the extraordinary first quarter outburst help Chitty to a game-high 22 points, earning the junior Salina Orth0 Player of the Game honors.
While Ell-Saline tallied 13 points in the first period, well above it’s season average, the Cardinals would muster just 19 points over the final three quarters, as Southeast of Saline extended its advantage to 29-21 at halftime on its way to a 49-32 win for the Trojans.
Outside of Chitty’s 24-point showing, Southeast of Saline (5-14) received nine points from sophomore Meredith Tillberg, while senior Emma Fear chipped in with seven.
Ell-Saline (2-18) received a 14-point effort for the second-consecutive game from sophomore guard Ashton Travis, with senior Lexi Kochanowski contributing nine points and sophomore Erin Lange added six.
Early Trojan Outburst Dooms Cardinal Boys
Southeast of Saline wasted no time making a statement in the nightcap, sprinting out to a 12-0 lead just 70 seconds into the game. Ell-Saline held its own from there, but could never recover from the deep hole dug early on. The Cardinals found themselves down by 16 at the half, 35-19. Both teams added another 30 points in the second half as the Trojans earned the 65-49 win.
Trojan senior Hunter White was a one-man wrecking crew, scoring 29 points on the night to earn Salina Ortho Player of the Game honors, while freshman Bryant Banks scored 14 in the Southeast of Saline (10-9) victory.
Ell-Saline (4-16) received double-digit scoring efforts from seniors Mason Farrell and Hunter Kindlesparger, as well as from sophomore Sawyer Kramer. Each member of the Cardinal trio finished with 12 points on the night.
Both Ell-Saline teams are locked into the eighth seed in the upcoming Belleville – Republic County 2A sub-state playoff. The Cardinal girls will make the long trip to Blue Rapids to meet top-seeded Valley Heights in the quarterfinals, while the Cardinal boys will make the short trip to Salina to square off with defending 2A state champion, top-seeded Sacred Heart.