Salina Central splits with visiting Valley Center Hornets

Girls: Valley Center 34, Salina Central 23

The Lady Mustangs came into tonight sitting at 4-2 on the season and had won three straight, but between christmas break and the winter weather earlier this week the Mustangs hadn’t played a game in 23 days. They would be faced with a tough task against the visiting Hornets of Valley Center (5-2). The Hornets, one of the better defensive teams in the state, showed their aggressive defensive style against the Mustangs forcing a handful of turnovers and accumulating an abundance of transition points.

The first quarter was a defensive battle with both applying a lot of pressure and neither offense being able to get anything going, The Mustangs led 7-5 at the end of 1 quarter. The second quarter was much of the same through the first 5 minutes with both teams continuing to play well defensively, but minutes before the half each offense started finding some open shots with both teams trading blows. Valley Center would go on a quick run after back to back turnovers by the Mustangs to grab an 18-12 lead heading into the break.

The third quarter was a back and forth battle as Salina Central tried to claw their way back into the ballgame with good defense and some timely offense. Unfortunately for the Mustangs the Hornets were able to stay shot for shot with Central and carried a 28-17 point lead into the 4th quarter. Central would find some late offense in the 4th quarter but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit as Valley Center would walk out of the brick house with a 34-23 victory over the Mustangs.

Nex Tech Wireless Player of the Game- Saniyah Triplett 

H&R Block of the Game- Elle Denning 

Boys: Salina Central 54, Valley Center 52

The boys would come into tonight looking to kick off the second semester with a win against the 1-7 Hornets. Central would get off to a hot start building an 11-2 lead early on in the first but some early foul trouble and turnovers would allow the Hornets to stay within striking distances as the Mustangs led 19-12 at the end of 1. The second quarter would be much like the first as Central would have the hot hand early but once again fouls and turnovers would allow the Hornets to climb back into the ball game. Valley Center would take their first lead of the ballgame with just under 10 seconds to go before the half but Dezmyn Gibson would respond with a three ball with time running out to give Central a slim 30-29 lead at the break.

The third quarter was back and forth with both offenses staying hot, Central would find a short run to end the quarter with a 45-38 lead heading into the final 8 minutes of play. The fourth quarter was everything you could hope for in an exciting basketball game, each team going shot for shot with each other. The Mustangs however would miss 4 straight from the charity strike and a couple late turnovers found the Hornets within striking distance. After a deep ball from the top of the key by freshman PG Preston Looney, the Hornets would pull within just one point with under 10 seconds to go. Kaden Snyder would later knock down a free throw with 6 seconds on the clock followed by a Valley Center turnover that would seal the deal for Salina Central as they walked out with victories 54-52 over the visiting Hornets.

Nex Tech Wireless Player of the Game- Mason Nemechek 

H&R Block of the Game- Kaden Snyder