Despite not playing for nearly a month, the Salina South boys basketball team is back in the Salina Invitational Tournament championship.
Salina South forced 20 turnovers, nearly scored 30 points in the third quarter, and coasted to a 69-31 victory over Liberal Thursday to wrap up pool play of the SIT. After winning both their games, the Cougars advanced to their second straight SIT title game and await the winner of Andover-Buhler tomorrow night.
For the second consecutive night, Salina South started slowly. Liberal pulled down a few offensive rebounds to grab an early 6-3 advantage. South turned things around, jumping ahead 12-10 at the end of the first.
South turned up the defensive pressure in the ensuing period, logging the first 12 points of the frame to build a 24-10 cushion. Liberal fought back within 10, but South scored the final four points to lead 33-19 at the break.
Salina South came out of the locker room and maybe played its best quarter of the season. The Cougars blew the game wide open, outscoring Liberal 27-8 in the period.
Senior Devon Junghans led three double-digit scorers with 15 points. Senior Colin Schreiber added 12. Sophomore Te’jon McDaniel poured in a career-high 11 points. Seniors Darell Evans and Kade Barber each had career bests as well with seven and eight points, respectively.
The 7-0 Cougars play at Salina South High School Saturday at 3 pm. Coverage on Y93.7.
SALINA SOUTH 38, BUHLER 20
For the fourth straight season, the Salina South girls are in the SIT semifinals.
Buhler’s defense didn’t make it easy. However, South’s defense was much stronger.
Both offenses struggled in the opening eight minutes. The squads combined for 13 points, but also 12 turnovers. South ended up on top, 8-5.
The offensive woes bled into the second period. Buhler scored the first two points of the quarter, trimming the margin to 8-7. South answered by netting the final five points of the half, expanding the lead to 13-7 at the break.
The 5-0 run turned into a 13-0 burst as Salina South registered the first eight points of the third. Junior Kylie Arnold buried a pair of threes and junior Sydney Peterson added another to provide the scoring punch. The Cougars were on top 27-14 after three, enough separation for the win.
Senior Lizzy Franco paced the Cougars with eight points. Peterson and sophomore Acacia Weis each added seven.
Salina South squares off with second-seeded Liberal at Salina South High Friday at 5 pm. Coverage starts at 4:45 on Y93.7.