Salina South girls jump on Abilene early to claim fifth place in Salina Invitational

·2 min read

It didn’t take long for the Salina South girls to close the door on Abilene’s chances Saturday in the fifth-place game of the Salina Invitational Tournament.

In fact, it took just about 11 minutes for the Cowgirls to even get on the board.

By the time Jenna Hayes hit a 3-pointer for Abilene's first basket, the Cougars already had 21 on their side of the scoreboard and were well on their way to a 46-27 victory at the South gym.

More: Salina South boys control tempo, knock off Abilene in Salina Invitational fifth-place game

After forcing 10 turnovers in the first quarter and getting several 3-point baskets, South was never in danger the rest of the game, building a 21-point halftime cushion improving to 4-8 for the season.

Kalysa Hamel picked up her game in the second quarter scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds.

“My teammates were working both sides of the ball and when I got open, they found me and I hit some shots,” Hamel said.

With the South girls at a height disadvantage, they had to be more physical.

More: Salina Central girls basketball wins Salina Invitational Tournament; Aubrie Kierscht named MVP

“We’ve been focusing on rebounding on that in practice,” Hamel said. “You just have to get position and be more physical than them. Size doesn’t matter if you’re more physical.”

In the end, South finished with a 30-29 rebounding advantage and forced 23 turnovers.

“Our girls, all weekend, have played well defensively,” South coach Justin Ebert said. “It was really important in a Saturday afternoon game to get out and defend and bring that energy, and I thought we did that."

When it was all said and done, Elena Herbel was the lone South player in double figures with 11 points, but Lauren Harris added nine and Hamel and Kylie Arnold eight each. Hayes finished with 11 points to lead Abilene, which dropped to 2-10.

This article originally appeared on Salina Journal: Salina South girls basketball beats Abilene for fifth in Salina Invitational

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