The Sacred Heart girls basketball team ended a long losing streak to county-rival Southeast of Saline a year ago.
On the same floor at Sacred Heart High School in Salina on Thursday night, the Knights created a winning-streak of their own, handing the Lady Trojans their first loss, 44-39.
The game started out slow, with both teams feeling each other out in the first quarter. Southeast of Saline led 7-5 after one.
Sacred Heart began to heat up some in the second stanza. Led by Ally Cochran and Hannah Goetz, the Knights captured the lead and pushed it to 18-12 at one point in the period.
Molly Chitty and Meredith Tillberg would keep the Trojans in the game though. Chitty would have several stick-backs at the rim and Tillberg soaked a 3-pointer for SES to climb to within two at the break, 19-17.
The third quarter is where the game shifted towards Sacred Heart. The Knights would come out playing smothering defense, holding the Lady Trojans to just six points in the period. Sacred Heart’s Cochran would continue to find holes in the SES defense for driving scores.
The Knights pushed their lead to seven just before the end of the quarter, when Goetz soaked a top-of-the-key 3-point shot just before the buzzer. Sacred Heart lead Southeast, 33-23 going in to the final quarter.
The unbeaten Trojans weren’t done though. SES slowly chipped away at the lead, led by Tillberg. With just a few minutes to play, Sacred Heart’s lead had been cut to three. However, Cochran would get to the line and end the game making six FTs in-a-row to secure the rivalry win.
Southeast of Saline (4-1, 1-1 NCAA) suffered its first loss this year. Chitty led the way with 12 Trojan points, however, no one else got to double-figures.
Sacred Heart (5-2, 2-1 NCAA) has now won two-straight over their county rivals. Cochran scored 17 points to pace the Knights. Goetz chipped in 12 points to complement Cochran.
Both teams exit to winter break with winning records. The rivalry rematch between the two is set for Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 at Southeast of Saline High School.
SACRED HEART BOYS 67, Southeast of Saline 49
Sacred Heart got out to a 13 point lead in the early moments of the boys game and never looked back to secure its 43rd-straight league win.
The Knights would lead 17-8 after the first quarter, 36-21 at halftime and 52-34 going in to the final quarter.
Sacred Heart would shake off foul troubles–as five Knights had two fouls or more in the first half–with Charlie Skidmore carrying the team, finding holes in the Southeast defense and scoring at the rim.
Ethan Buckner had another nice night for Sacred Heart, as he anchored the Knights down low with his second-straight double-figure performance.
Trace Leners withstood foul trouble all night, and played yet another game of fantastic defense, while distributing the ball to his teammates. Leners ended with over 10 assists on the night.
Southeast of Saline played tough and never folded in the face of the Sacred Heart trapping defense. Nick Montgomery would give the Knights fits at times all night.
Southeast of Saline (0-5, 0-2 NCAA) struggled to score outside of Montgomery though. The Trojan senior only saw one other teammate score in double-figures as Montgomery finished with 20 points, Jaxson Gebhardt tallied in 10. The Trojans open up back out of the break with league foe, Minneapolis at SES on Friday, Jan. 4.
Sacred Heart (5-2, 3-0 NCAA) has now won five-straight since starting 0-2. The Knights were paced by Skidmore’s 20 points, Tate Herrenbruck with 17 and Buckner adding in 12. Sacred Heart will host Cair Paravel out of Topeka on Friday, Jan. 4 for their next game. Coverage can be heard on FM 104.9 at 6 p.m.