Salina South splits with Junction City Tuesday night

The Salina South Cougar basketball teams split their action at Junction City High School on Tuesday night. Both Salina South teams will be back in action on Friday night, taking on crosstown-rival Salina Central at Kansas Weselyan. Girls will begin at 6 PM and the boys at 7:30.

GIRLS – Salina South 38, Junction City 32

A slow, and ugly, first half offensively saw Salina South fall in an early hole Tuesday night, but their strong defensive effort quickly turned the tide, as Salina South erased a 9-point halftime deficit to defeat Junction City 38-32.

The two teams both struggled offensively in the first half, unable to find any rhythm. The Cougars could muster just four points in the opening quarter, on only one made field goal. In the second quarter it was more of the same, as Lauren Harris was the only South player to fins the bottom of the net in the period, hitting a three.

Junction City finished the first half on a 7-0 run, taking 16-7 lead into the locker room with all the momentum.

Out of the locker room, the energy changed completely, as South’s defense created consistent turnovers, leading to transition opportunities and easy offense. The Cougars opened the third quarter on a 10-1 run, tying the game at 17, forcing a Junction City timeout.

The momentum continued to swing in favor of the Cougars, who outscored JCHS 22-8 in the third quarter, taking a 5-point lead into the final eight minutes.

Junction City had their opportunities, living much of the night at the free throw line, but the Blue Jays only made 10 of their 23 attempts at the line. Salina South; however, made the most of their freebies, hitting 9 of 13 in the game.

Lauren Harris was the only Cougar in double-figures with 11 points. Anahyssa and Giselle Nash each scored 7, while Montanna Packett tallied 6 as well. Junction City was paced by 11 points from Ava DeGuzman and 10 from Sasha Cebula. The win brings the Cougars’ record to 1-1 on the season. Junction City falls to 0-2.

Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game: Lauren Harris

H&R Block of the Game: Paityn Fritz

Salina South – 4 – 3 – 22 – 9 / 38

Junction City – 9 – 7 – 8 – 8 / 32

BOYS – Junction City 81, Salina South 53

Salina South fell on Tuesday at the hands of a lengthy, athletic Junction City squad, 81-53.

The Blue Jays used constant full-court pressure the create havoc in the Cougars’ backcourt. Those turnovers lead directly to countless transition opportunities for Junction City, who built a 13-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

The lead ballooned to more than 20 before half, but South kept battling, finding ways to get to the free throw line, and making the most of those opportunities. The Cougars made all 12 of their free throw attempts in the first half, and climbed back to within 15 points at the break.

Junction City would punch back early in the third period, extending their lead to as many as 25 before a Salina South timeout stopped the bleeding.

Junior Quevon Purucker helped lead South’s comeback bid, scoring 19 points and helping the Cougars close the gap to as few as 14 before the end of the third.

Jace Humphrey also aided South’s offense with 15 points of his own; however South would have no other players reach double-digits.

In the 4th quarter, Junction City’s deadly duo of Michael Boganowski and Deontae Baker scored 21 and 23 points respectively, and the Blue Jays’ relentless pressure again was the difference. Junction City put away South for good with a long run of baskets in the fourth quarter, taking the lead up to as high as the final margin of 28 points.

Junction City improves to 2-0 with the win, while South falls to 0-2.

Nex-Tech Wireless Player of the Game: Jace Humphrey

H&R Block of the Game: Quevon Purucker

Salina South – 6 – 21 – 17 – 9 / 53

Junction City – 19 – 23 – 18 – 21 / 81