It's a new year and the Salina South girls believe it's a new beginning for their basketball team. Friday night was also quite an 18th birthday for Cougar senior Camdyn Schreiber.

Schreiber celebrated her big day in style, pouring in 23 points as South picked up its first win of the season with a decisive 59-17 decision over Arkansas City at the South gym.

Schreiber and the Cougars had a third quarter to remember. The 5-foot-9 senior scored 14 points — hitting all seven of her field goal attempts — and her team scored a whopping 30 points to blow out the visiting Bulldogs.

"This is the first step," said Schreiber, who made 11 of 13 shots from the field and added five rebounds and several steals. "We've been working hard and we were rewarded tonight."

As far as her individual performance was concerned, Schreiber said, "It felt good tonight. I'm really excited, but it had a lot to do with my teammates. We were all feeling confident tonight."

South (1-6) jumped out to an 18-2 lead after the first quarter, but struggled with just five points in the second quarter. Then came the third quarter, which saw the Cougars go on runs of 9-0 and 12-0, and shoot 65 percent from the field (13 of 20). There was a running clock in the fourth quarter.

"We really wanted to apply pressure (after halftime) and see what happened," South coach Ryan Stuart said. "It was really good for the girls to get out there, have fun and experience success. It's a good way to start the new year, that's for sure."

Freshman guard Kylie Arnold also put together a solid game for the Cougars, scoring 11 of her 13 points in the first three quarters. Arnold hit 5 of 7 shots from the field and both of her free throws.

The Cougars will look for their second win Tuesday night at Hutchinson.

"We had a tough schedule (in December), but we missed some opportunities as well," Stuart said. "We can be a good basketball team if we are all clicking and playing well. We're looking at it that we're 1-0 in 2019 and have a big game on Tuesday."

 

Arkansas City boys 68, Salina South 56

Cevin Clark entered Friday night's game as one of the leading scorers in the state, and the senior guard for the Arkansas City Bulldogs showed why.

The 5-foot-11 Clark scored 40 points, including 25 in the second half, leading his team to the victory over South. He entered the game averaging 29 points a game and had that by the end of the third quarter, finishing 14 of 23 from the field (four 3-pointers) and 8 of 11 from the free throw line.

"We tried a lot of different things," said South coach Jason Hooper. "We tried quickness, we tried length, we tried playing a little triangle-and-two. He's just one of those kids who really understands the game of basketball. He found himself with a lot of good looks and to his credit, he made the majority of the shots he took. And some were tough shots, and he knocked them down."

South (1-6) hung tough for much of the game against the No. 5-ranked team in Class 5A, but struggled at the free throw line, making just 8 of 19. Ark City, meanwhile, was 12 of 15 from the line, including 10 of 13 in the fourth quarter.

"That's the difference in the game," Hooper said. "There was about a 35-second stretch late in the third quarter where we gave up nine unanswered (points) that made it a 15-point game. If we make free throws, this game has a completely different dynamic and we're not chasing so much at the end."

The visiting Bulldogs (6-1) never trailed after the first six minutes, but could never completely put South away. The Cougars got a strong game inside from Elex Banks — 19 points, 6 rebounds — and double-figure scoring from sophomores A.J. Johnson (13 points, 6 rebounds) and Colin Schreiber (12 points, 8 rebounds).

"It's a young group that's growing and I think you're seeing some progress," Hooper said. "Obviously, you want everything to be fixed immediately, but I think we're making some right moves and right decisions. We just have to play a complete game."

The Cougars got within eight points twice in the fourth quarter — with 2:24 and 2:08 remaining — but could never get any closer. Clark scored his 39th and 40th points in the final minute.