Salina South girls basketball has played well during its most recent stretch.
The Cougars saved their best outing for their cross-town rivals.
Junior guard Kylie Arnold led a balanced scoring attack with 14 points, the South defense locked up a potent Salina Central offense, and the Cougars snapped a five-game losing streak against the Mustangs, upsetting the No. 4 team in Class 5A, 66-53, Tuesday night at Salina South High School. Salina South won its sixth game in the last seven contests, improving to 6-7. Central dropped to 10-3.
The Cougars were ready from the start. South raced out to a 12-0 advantage before Central logged its first of two first-quarter buckets at the 2:45 mark. Salina South didn’t let up. Senior Mariah Janda connected on two of South’s five threes in the first period. Junior Sydney Peterson wrapped up the period with a three-point play, putting South on top 22-5 after one.
After falling behind by 23, Central went on a 7-0 run to climb back to 28-12 in the second. However, South would match every Central punch, pushing the margin out to 20. Central junior Aubrie Kierscht banked in a last-second three to pull Central within 36-20 at intermission.
Kiercht’s bucket sparked Central as the Mustangs roared out of the locker room with a 10-2 burst, spearheaded by junior Hampton Williams.
Salina Central cut the deficit to as little as seven, but the Mustangs couldn’t get any closer. South ballooned the advantage out to 46-35 through three quarters. Junior Kylie Arnold opened the final eight minutes with a huge three. Sophomore Acacia Weis added a creative finish at the rim and the Cougars didn’t look back.
Arnold paced the Cougars with 14 points. Weis chipped in a season-high 13 points. Peterson added a season-best 12 points.
Williams led the charge for the Mustangs with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore Mykayla Cunningham scored 14. Kierscht, who entered the game with an average of 20.5 points per game, was held to two buckets, finishing with six points.
SOUTH 68, CENTRAL 55
Salina South’s quest for perfection remains intact.
Senior Josh Jordan poured in a season-best 25 points, propelling the Cougars to their first season sweep of Salina Central since 2005-06. South increased its record to 11-0 while Central dipped to 4-9.
The first eight minutes saw little separation. South led 8-4 early before Central fought back to 13-13. South senior Devon Junghans wrapped up the first with a deep three, handing South a 16-13 advantage.
Jordan used that jumpstart to take control of the game. The senior buried two treys during an 8-0 stretch to stretch the margin to double-digits. Central briefly made it a single-digit game, but Jordan and the Cougars were too much, leading 36-20 at intermission.
South appeared to be running away with the game in the third when leading by 23 times multiple occasions. Central didn’t go away as the Mustangs trimmed the margin to as little as 12 in the fourth quarter. However, the hole was too big to overcome.
In addition to Jordan’s 25 points, Junghans provided 17. Senior Colin Schreiber chipped in 10 for the Cougars, who travel to Maize South Friday. Pregame coverage begins at 5:45 pm on Y93.7.
Senior Reed McHenry paced Salina Central with a career-high 29 points. No other player reached double figures for the Mustangs as they host Andover Central Friday. Pregame at 5:45 pm on 1150 KSAL.