Salina South girls basketball coach Ryan Stuart knew if the Cougars wanted to pull the upset, they would have to handle the ball.
After the first quarter, the Lady Railers wouldn’t be denied.
Newton forced 10 second-quarter turnovers, closed the first half on an 11-0 spurt, and went on to down Salina South, 50-23 at Newton High School. The Lady Railers move on to the Class 5A Sub-State championship match hosting Salina Central on Saturday.
The Cougars drew first blood as senior Jacie Marcotte swished in a three. South was shut out from the field for the rest of the quarter, but recorded just one turnover, trailing 7-5 through the first period.
Newton came out and dominated the second quarter, building a 19-7 cushion after a 12-2 run. South battled back, getting a bucket and a triple from senior Allie Valdez to trim the deficit to 19-12. The Lady Railers’ final blow was the 11-0 explosion, grabbing a 30-12 halftime advantage.
Offense fell silent for both teams in the third frame. For 75 percent of the quarter, Newton had just three points. South didn’t get its first bucket of the second half until the 1:04 mark of the third on an and-one bucket by junior Gretchen Cox.
Cox was the lone Cougar in double figures, scoring 10 to earn the Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Newton had three players with double-digit performances. Kyndal Bacon paced the Railers with 14 points, Taylor Antonowich provided 11 and Desiray Kernal chipped in 10.
Salina South ends the season with a 7-14 mark, the exact same record as 2016-17.