ADAIR, OK —
Salina squandered an eight-point fourth-quarter lead, but Cale Backward hit a pair of free throws with 1.7 seconds to play to give Salina a 46-44 win over Chouteau in an Adair Invitational consolation semifinal Thursday.
Salina (1-2), led by Backward's game-high 17 points, avenged a 57-50 loss to Chouteau earlier this year and picked up its first win of the season.
Salina led 40-32 midway through the fourth quarter, but a Champ Bridges bucket and back-to-back treys by Bridges and Trenton Pierce tied the game at 40 with just over two minutes to play. Pierce drained a pair of free throws to give Chouteau (2-2) its first lead of the second half, 42-40.
Backward countered with a pair of free throws of his own with 1:19 left. Chouteau regained the lead on a Pierce jumper with 53.5 seconds to play. Pierce was fouled on the shot but couldn't convert the free throw, leaving the score 44-42 in Chouteau's favor.
Salina's Mark Cowan tied the game at 44 with a short putback with 39.3 seconds on the clock. Chouteau ran the clock down for the final shot, but Arlis Alsip's potential game-winning 3-pointer was short. Backward corralled the rebound, drew contact with 1.7 ticks remaining and drained both foul shots to seal the victory.
Alsip picked up a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Pierce led Chouteau with 14 points. Bridges added nine.
Coby Backward netted 12 points for Salina. Cowan poured in nine points, and teammate Chase Mellowbug snared a game-high 12 boards.
Salina advances to the fifth-place game Saturday, where it will face the winner of Friday's Westville-Colcord contest. Chouteau will face the loser of that game Saturday for seventh place.
Jay stymies Salina girls
ADAIR — Jay used a stifling defense and strong rebounding to neutralize the Salina offense, topping the Lady Wildcats 57-33 in an Adair Invitational semifinal Thursday.
The Lady Bulldogs pressured Salina (2-1) early, picking up five fouls in the first two minutes. Despite being in the double bonus the entire second quarter, the Lady Wildcats couldn't take advantage and fell into a 34-16 hole at halftime.
Courtney Condit scored 13 points to lead all scorers, but she could not replicate her 32-point performance from Wednesday night which helped Salina come back from a 19-point deficit against Claremore Sequoyah.
Kaisee Moore and Manay McCarter each added five points for Salina, which will face the loser of Friday's Adair-Dewey contest for third place Saturday.