On Friday night, the Salina South Cougars were in Hutchinson, hoping to spoil the Salthawks’ senior night. The girls would fall short while the boys slowly pulled away to snap a four-game losing streak.
Hutchinson sharp-shooter Gabbie Posch helped get her team started by nailing three first quarter three-pointers, spurring the Lady Salthawks to an 18-10 lead after one quarter. The Lady Cougars found it difficult to keep up early trying to navigate a very active Hutch zone defense.
Hutch would extend the lead to 13 on a couple of occasions in the second quarter, but South responded by finishing the first half on a 7-0 run to trail 27-21 at halftime.
The Lady Cougars defense tightened up, allowing them to chip some more points off the deficit. They would get as close as 31-28 in the final minute of the third quarter. However, a combination of empty possessions and some timely buckets from Hutch would shut down the comeback effort. The Lady Salthawks would pull away for a 50-37 win, dropping South to 9-9 overall.
Sydney Peterson and Victoria Maxton each scored nine points to lead the Lady Cougars. Kylie Arnold added seven.
Meanwhile in the boys game, South was desperate to shake off a four-game losing streak. The remedy came in the form of a Salthawk team that had only one win coming in to the contest. Hutch would prove to be a tough nut to crack, however.
The Salthawks built a quick seven point lead before the Cougars began to settle in. It was 13-12 Hutch at the end of one quarter. Then, South started to find a rhythm in their half-court offense. They would take a 29-24 lead into halftime, paced by three trifectas and 11 points from Devon Junghans.
Hutch tried to stay close in the second half, but had a hard time getting stops against the Cougars. Cade Hannert scored six of his ten points in the third, as South took a 46-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Cougars did not relax with that lead, they kept the foot on the gas, and built the lead to as high as 19 at 64-45. This allowed Coach Jason Hooper to insert some reserves and JV players into the contest for a taste of varsity action. South cruised to the 70-56 win, moving them to 11-7 overall.
Without the services of Colin Schreiber due to a minor ankle injury, South was still able to score 70 points, including 60 from four starters: Junghans (17), Josh Jordan (17), A.J. Johnson (16) and Hannert (10). The Cougars nailed nine three-point baskets, with Junghans responsible for five of those makes.
It’s a tough slate to wrap up the regular season next week for South, as they travel to Maize and Derby.