MIAMI, OK —
Salina emptied its bench to topple Diamond (Mo.) Friday, and the Wildcats had just enough to escape with a 65-62 win and earn a spot in the NEO High School Tournament Blue bracket title game.
The Wildcats (9-6) will face Southwest (Mo.) at 6 p.m. Friday in the student activity center.
Four Salina starters — Cale Backward, Colton Burgess, Mark Cowan and Tyler Underwood — fouled out in the contest, but the Wildcats still held off Diamond late.
Coby Backward led the Wildcats with 12 points. Burgess added 11, and Bryce Kerns poured in nine off the bench.
In a Thursday first-round game, Salina tripped Afton, 58-42.
Lady Wildcats pound Afton
MIAMI — Salina’s Courtney Condit racked up 27 points to help lead the Lady Wildcats past Afton, 66-37, in an NEO High School Tournament Blue bracket semifinal Friday.
Salina (8-7) advances to play Southwest (Mo.) in the tournament title game Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on the NEO campus gym.
Salina shot 45 free throws in the game, making 32. The Lady ‘Cats went 13-of-15 at the line in the fourth quarter. Salina outscored Afton 20-2 in the final eight minutes.
Shaylee Morgan scored 13 points for Salina, and Morgan Littlefield added eight.
On Thursday, Salina edged Will Rogers 56-44 in a first-round game.