Last time Salina South saw the floor, the Cougars were still playing in the Salina Invitational Tournament.
The 10-day layoff didn’t add any rust.
Freshman Acacia Weis led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points, the Cougars drilled three threes in the opening quarter, and the South girls rolled to a 44-34 victory at Hays Tuesday night. Salina South improved to 7-6 while Hays fell to 4-9.
The Cougars pounced on the Indians right out of the gates. Weis recorded a steal and made an easy layup, followed by a three from sophomore Sydney Peterson, giving South an early 7-1 advantage. Hays pulled to within three, 7-4, but the Cougars seized control with back-to-back treys from junior Mariah Janda to close the opening period, handing Salina South a 17-6 lead.
Salina South increased the margin to 21 in the third, 34-13, before being a little loose with the basketball. The Cougars were outscored 16-6 in the final frame, but the hole was too deep for Hays.
Helping Weis in the scoring department was Peterson, who finished with seven points. Sophomore Kylie Arnold, senior Tori Maxton and Janda all finished with six points each.
SOUTH 65, HAYS 51
South’s plan was to get out and run against Hays.
The Cougars did exactly that in the decisive 18-7 third period. After leading by two at halftime, 26-24, the Cougars rebounded the ball much better in the third, allowing run outs for juniors Josh Jordan, AJ Johnson and Colin Schreiber. The push plus a three from junior Devon Junghans in the fourth ballooned the margin to 16 points in the beginning of the final quarter.
Hays didn’t stop fighting, though, trimming the cushion down to seven, 49-42. South closed the game with 10 free throws and three buckets from senior Cade Hannert off the overly aggressive defense of Hays.
Jordan paced the Cougars with 17 points. Junghans added 16 while Schreiber had 12. Senior Koby Ratcliff logged big minutes off the bench, chipping in seven.
Salina South returns to AVCTL-I basketball Friday when the Cougars host Derby. Coverage begins at 5:45 on Y93.7.