The Salina South Cougar Boys Basketball Team’s dream of advancing into the state tournament came to an end Saturday afternoon in Hays. After taking a precarious one point lead in the final quarter the Cougars were dominated in the fourth quarter by the undefeated Indians and came out on the short end of a 61 – 48 score.
The Cougars started off slow, struggling to hit a shot. A Colin Schreiber free throw finally got them on the board after Hays hit the first three shots of the game. The Indians built a 9 point lead at one point, and lead by 7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Cougars battled back, with Devon Junghans getting hot from behind the three point line. South would tie the score, and had a chance to take the lead going into the half. Kade Barber launched a three pointer at the buzzer which was no good, but he was fouled. Barber was alone on the court at the free throw line, with no time on the clock and the crowd roaring. He sank two of three free throws and South lead 30-28 at the half.
The 3rd quarter was back and forth, with no team able to take control. South lead by one with just one quarter left to play.
Hays proved too much in the 4th quarter, especially their big men, 6’6″ Jace Linenberger and 6’6″ Dayln Swarz, who the Cougars struggled to contain. The Indians outscored South 23 – 9 in the final quarter and won 61 – 48.
The Indians, who have won their last 30 games in a row, now advance to the state tournament.
South finishes a successful season at 16-5.
It was the final game for 7 seniors on the South roster. They include Devon Junghans, Darel Evans, Josh Jordan, AJ Johnson, Colin Schreiber, Kade Barber, and Jackson Hayes.