Salina South head boys basketball coach Jason Hooper admitted that he wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance.
That’s only because he sees the potential after what was an “ugly” win.
Junior guard Devon Junghans drilled two free throws with 10 seconds left, classmate Josh Jordan forced a tough shot as time expired, and the Cougars hung on for a 53-51 victory over Maize Tuesday night at Salina South High School. The victory improved South’s record to 1-1, 1-1 in the AVCTL-I.
Both defenses played lights out in the opening half. The two teams combined for 21 turnovers, the largest lead for South was four (4-0) while the biggest margin for Maize was five (15-10) as the squads traded blows, resulting in 12 lead changes. The last gave the Eagles a narrow 23-22 advantage at the break.
Maize (0-1, 0-1) threatened to pull away in the third as they had the ball with a six-point cushion at 30-24. That’s when South hit Maize with a 16-4 burst, keyed by threes made by Junghans and senior Cade Hannert. Maize hit a triple toward the end of the third, bringing the score to 40-37.
The Eagles had a few more pushes left in them as they knotted up the game three different times, the last coming at the 1:15 mark, tied at 51-51. Salina South held for the final shot and Junghans drove down the lane and was fouled for two free throws with 10 seconds to go.
Junghans finished with 16 points for the Cougars. Colin Schreiber and Josh Jordan chipped in 11 each.
Maize was paced by Jacob Hanna, who had 12 points.
MAIZE (1-0, 1-0 AVCTL-I) 65, SALINA SOUTH (1-1, 1-1) 20
Salina South girls basketball coach Ryan Stuart confessed that the Cougars are trying to get to the style of play as Maize. However, the Cougars have a bit more work to do before reaching that stage.
South sophomore Sydney Peterson connected on South’s first three on the night to trim the deficit to 10-7.
From there, it was all Maize. The Eagles blitzed the Cougars by scoring 21-straight points, building a 35-11 advantage at halftime. Maize’s defense was effective, holding the Cougars to just two field goals in the second and third periods.
Sydney Holmes led the Eagles with 17 points. Peterson paced the Cougars with seven points.
Salina South stays in town Friday when the Cougars host the Buhler Crusaders. Coverage begins at 5:45 on Y93.7.