Stonebraker Nails Winner as Cougars Stun Mustangs
Mike Hammett - Sat 09:33 PM 03/02/2013
Salina South's boys basketball team picked the right time to end a long losing streak to cross town rival Salina Central.
The Cougars fought back from an eight-point third quarter deficit to get a 52-49 win on Justin Stonebraker's three at the buzzer at Salina Central, claiming a sub-state championship.
The Mustangs led 26-24 at halftime, and expanded the lead to eight in the third quarter at 34-26 on a three by Max Kuhn, and again at 39-31 on a basket by Mark Vaughn.
South answered, scoring the final four points of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 39-35.
South would continue its charge in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 40 on Aaron Mar's jumper with 6:53 to go.
Central would go back in front on a free throw by Vaughn, but South answered again, this time with a three by Conner Ryan to go up 43-41 with 5:54 to go.
Central regained the lead and built a four-point lead at 49-45 with 3:21 left on a bucket and four free throws from Jordan McNelly.
Those would be the last points for Central, as South chipped away, getting a bucket by Zach Nachbar to close within two, then tied the game off a steal and lay-in for Justin Stonebraker with 56 seconds left.
Central would miss a shot on the ensuing possession, giving South a chance for the win on Central's home floor.
After a timeout and a foul, Stonebraker received the ball in an isolation play, using a cross-over dribble and a step-back shot to hit the three at the horn.
The Cougars were led by Stonebraker's 26 points, while McNelly led the Mustangs with 12 points and Bengtson added 10.
The Mustangs close the season at 14-7.
The Cougars are 9-12 and await their seeding in the state tournament bracket, which will be released on Sunday morning. The Cougars will make their first state tournament appearance since 2004.