Top-Seed Mustangs Rally Past Railers
Mike Hammett - Thu 08:47 PM 02/28/2013
For the third time this year, the game turned into a grind, but for the second time, Salina Central picked up a win over Newton, 45-40 in the boys sub-state opener.
The top-seeded Mustangs started slowly against the eighth-seeded Railers, giving up the first 10 points of the game before back-to-back threes by Damien Cooper and Max Kuhn pulled Central within 10-6 with 1:40 to play in the first quarter. Central trailed 10-8 after one.
In the second quarter, Newton pushed back out to a six-point lead at 14-8, and made it as much as 10 at 21-11 before Kuhn scored the final points of the half on a three to make it 21-14 Newtonat the break.
In the second half, Central picked up the defensive pressure, employing a run-and-jump press to force Railer turnovers. Newton led by eight at 24-16 before Central would score 12 of the next 14 points to take their first lead of the game on a three by Kuhn with 1:12 to go in the quarter. Newton would score three straight points to end the frame, and led 29-28 after three.
In the fourth, Newton added another transition bucket to the lead to go up 31-28. Then, Central made its final burst, scoring 10 straight points, including five straight in less than 20 seconds to take the lead for good and extend the lead to four on Treyton Hines' three.
The Mustangs led by as much as seven down the stretch before Newton would cut it to four twice. Both times, Central hit free throws to rebuild the lead and hold on for the 45-40 win.
Mark Vaughn led Salina Central with a double double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Max Kuhn added 13 points on four threes and a free throw.
The Mustangs are 14-6 overall while Newton finishes 5-16.
Salina Central hosts cross-town rival Salina South on Saturday for a sub-state crown and a state tournament bid. Tip-off is at 7 o'clock with pregame coverage at 6:50 on Y93.7.