GIRLS: SALINA CENTRAL 51, Salina South 36
In the first matchup between Salina South and Salina Central this season, it was never a contest. The Mustangs ran away with the win to open the season. Tuesday night would be another story.
The Cougars, despite falling by 15 to the state’s number one team, showcased just how far they had come this season, hanging with the Mustangs to the end.
In the first quarter, neither team could find much rhythm, but Central would snag an 11-6 lead after the first eight minutes. In the second, the Cougars would be the team to find its groove, outscoring Central 22-17, controlling the game’s tempo, and tying the game at 28-all as the horn sounded for halftime.
In the second half; however, it was the Mustangs who would dictate the tempo, never allowing the Cougars to get comfortable. Central’s suffocating defense that opposing teams had come to know this season once again reared its ugly head, and South was only able to muster eight points the entire second half.
Chaliscia Samilton led all-scorers with 18 points for the Mustangs, while Aubrie Kierscht would add 14 for the victors. Sydney Peterson and Kalysa Hamel each scored nine points for South.
The Cougars fell to 4-9 on the season, while Central improved to 13-0 after the 51-36 victory.
BOYS: SALINA CENTRAL 49, Salina South 35
Similarly to the ladies contest, the season-opener between South and Central on the boys’ side, was never much of a game, with the Cougars winning handily to open the year, but on Tuesday, it wouldn’t go that way.
A reeling Central squad, coming off three-straight losses, played host to a South team which had won five of its last six games, but it would be the Mustangs who would get their groove back inside the Brickhouse.
Grabbing an early 11-5 lead after the first quarter, Central’s defense made life difficult for South from the jump, never allowing much room for open shots or any space to run the floor, but the Cougars fought back from down by as many as nine in the first half, clawing their way to down by just one point at the half.
In the third quarter, the two teams would go back and forth, but it would be the Mustangs to take a three-point lead into the final quarter. The final period would also go the way of the Mustangs, with the home team stretching its lead out more and more as the quarter wore on. Sid Duplessis IV was massive for the Mustangs in the fourth, scoring 13 of his game-high 25 points in the final frame, and outscoring South by himself in the period.
The Cougars would get double-digit scoring performances out of Te’jon McDaniel (16) and Devin Myers (11) but the Cougars would put up a season-low performance offensively.
Duplessis was the only Mustang in double-figures, but Nolan Puckett would add nine points to the ledger before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
Salina Central and Salina South both post records of 6-7 overall following the 49-35 Mustang victory.
Salina South will return home on Friday to host Maize South, while Salina Central will head on the road to Andover Central.