GIRLS: South 41, Buhler 32
The South Lady Cougars went over 11 minutes without scoring in the first half in Tuesday at Buhler, yet found a way to leave Baker Fieldhouse with a win. How? With a solid defensive effort and a resiliency to find a way to make it work on offense.
Acacia Weis scored the first basket of the game on a fast-break layup following a steal. Kalysa Hamel came off the bench and drained two three-pointers and just under the halfway point of the first quarter, the Cougars led 8-3.
They would not score again for a long time. Buhler’s length and packed in zone defense virtually eliminated any opportunity close to the basket. When South did find an open look, the ball did not find the net. Meanwhile, Buhler went on a 11-0 scoring run that really should be described as a slow jog rather than a run. They scored one point per minute the rest of the half, while the Cougars could find nothing until the final play of the half when Hamel banked home a 25-footer at the buzzer. It was the only points of the second period for South and they went into halftime trailing 14-11.
Buhler got two quick buckets to build a seven-point lead early in the third. The Cougars appeared to be in trouble but all of a sudden came to life. A 7-0 run tied the score and the teams played even the rest of the period and it was 25-25 heading to the fourth.
Better ball movement and teamwork allowed the offense to find some rhythm. Mariah Janda’s three gave South a lead they would not relinquish. They got a pair of baskets from Weis and Lizzy Franco to extend the lead. Kylie Arnold led the defensive charge with several deflections and steals. The lead grew to ten points and Buhler never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
South (5-7) got nine points from Weis and Hamel, plus eight from Arnold and six from Janda. Buhler (3-8) was led by Paige McDowell, who tallied eight points. The Cougars have won five of six.
BOYS: South 73, Buhler 49
The South boys kept up their winning ways on Tuesday with an impressive showing on the road against a quality opponent. After falling behind by eight in the first quarter, the Cougars put together a 40-point turnaround to force a running clock in the fourth and roll to victory.
A question that is asked of every opponent of Buhler is, how will you slow down the talented Crusader guard Max Alexander? Alexander set a Salina Invitational Tournament record by scoring 93 points in three games last weekend, and came into Tuesday’s game averaging 24 points per game. It took the Cougars some time to get going defensively, but once they did, it put everything else into motion.
Buhler got eight quick points from Alexander and seven from Jack Voth to take a 15-7 lead. From that point on, it was all South. They got within five at 17-12 at the end of one quarter, then scored the first 16 points of the second period which was part of an 18-0 run. A.J. Johnson led the defensive effort by playing great position defense on Alexander. It led to turnovers which got the Cougars out and running. Josh Jordan lit up the Crusaders with three treys in the run and he would add a fourth long bomb late in the quarter.
South outscored Buhler 25-11 in the period to lead by nine at the break. In the first half, the Cougars knocked down eight three-pointers. They continued to stay hot in the third as Colin Schreiber scored in a variety of ways in the post and Te’Jon McDaniel got involved with a pair of buckets. Late in the third, it turned into a party for South as Schreiber threw down a reverse dunk on the fast-break and that was immediately followed by another steal and run-out, with Jordan throwing down a slam with two hands.
The lead continued to grow, and reached as high as 32 when Schreiber hit a foul-line area jumper for a 73-41 lead. Both sides emptied their benches to play the rest of the game out.
South (9-0) was led by Jordan who finished with 19 points, Schreiber had all 12 of his points in the second half. The Cougars also got bonus contributions from Darell Evans (nine points) and Kade Barber (ten points). Buhler (7-3) got 23 from Voth and 18 from Alexander.
The Cougar boys are back to action on Friday with a makeup game at Newton.