By Samantha Anderson
10:20 PM CST, January 19, 2013
The Salina South Cougars pulled off a 41-35 win over the Mustangs in a head-to-head battle in the SIT Championship game.
"Anytime you can win a championship mid-season, post-season, early-season, you get a chance to put something as an accolade on that team and that year," Cougars head coach Jason Hooper said. "This one's special."
This came after a ten point loss to the Mustangs earlier in the season.
"Central is one of those games that it really can go either way," Salina South senior Megan Hollaway said. "The past couple of games they've had, they've always beat us. So, it feels so good to come out and finally beat them and their such a great team and so it's a lot of hard work to beat them.'
This is the second time in just three years that the Cougars have won the championship, beating the Mustangs two years ago in the same game.
Hooper says that good players are the secret to his teams' SIT tournament success, "we've locked in and we've had really good practices these last couple of days. These kids wanted it really bad."
The game was down to the wire, but the Cougars were able to pull ahead thanks to some last quarter free throws from Senior Cassidy Cook.
"I was thinking 'I've got to make these, I've got to make these,'" Cook said.
Cook was on the bench for a quarter, but still led the team with 14 points.
"I had to sit out the whole second quarter," Cook said. "I'd keep on reminding myself that I had to play smarter and just go back out there and do what I know I can do."
Holloway also was in double figures, scoring ten.
"Megan is our floor general," Hooper said. "We've been talking a lot these last few days about being patient on offense and having composure on the floor and tonight she was exceptional. She ran the show. She got us set up. She played good defense. She just makes us a different basketball team when she's on the floor.
The future Emporia State Hornet's effort all week earned her the tournament MVP for the girls game.
"I feel so honored," Holloway said. "I'm out there playing with fantastic girls, so to get MVP, it's awesome."
Holloway also earned MVP honors the last time the Cougars won the SIT in 2011.
Shaelyn Martin had a great game for the Mustangs, scoring 18 points, more than half Salina Central's total.
In the boys' first place contest Andover beat Salina Central 55-48 in just the Trojan's third year in the tournament.
"I'm very proud of these guys, how they approached the tournament," head coach Chad Wilmott said. "We knew we had to come up here and take care of business and they worked their butts off. They're diving on the floor everyday in practice and in games and that's what it is all about."
It was also Wilmott's first year as head coach.
"It's nice, but it's all about those guys," Wilmott said. "Those guys put all the work in. I just try to put them in the best position possible."
The Trojans caused the Mustangs to turn the ball over throughout the game.
"They are a great half-court set team," Wilmott said. "We knew we couldn't let them get comfortable."
Brady Carter had thirteen points for Andover. It was a well rounded effort as Ryan Bezdeck, Adam Dekoning and Dallas Bruer all were in double figures in scoring.
Andover had the MVP of the tournament as well, Adam DeKoning. Brady Carter earned the most inspirational title.
"I'm proud of those guys. They deserve it," Wilmott said. "They work hard everyday in and out and they come out here and it just carries over from practice into the game."
Treyton Hines lead the Mustangs in scoring with 22 points.
In the fifth place match ups Clay Center beat Concordia 58-30 and Abilene defeated Sacred Heart 63-45.
Girls' All-Tournament Team:
Abilene: Freshman Belle Barbieri,
Andover: Sophomore Jaylyn Agnew, Senior Jolynn Hallmark
Clay Center: Senior Alyx Bloom
Sacred Heart: Freshman Cara Donley
Salina Central: Junior Hailey Mayfield, Junior Shaelyn Martin, and Junior Emily Wood
Salina South: Senior Janai Mitchell and Senior Megan Holloway
MVP: Salina South's Megan Holloway
Co-Most Inspirational Players: Abilene's Carly Gassman and Salina South's McKenzie Hynes
Boys' All-Tournament Team:
Abilene: Senior Andy Wilson and Junior Keil Kelly
Andover: Junior Adam DeKoning and Junior Brady Carter
Concordia: Junior Grant Holmes
Sacred Heart: Senior Tony Chavez
Salina Central: Junior Treyton Hines and sophomore Max Kuhn
Salina South: Junior Justin Stonebreaker
MVP: Junior Adam Dekoning
Most Inspirational Player: Junior Brady Carter
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