Newton girls basketball team fall to Salina Central, ends season on bittersweet note

Ben Crump

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The Mustangs played a tight game in the first quarter, but the basketball team met them point for point. Junior DesiRay Kernal would be a big part of that, scoring six of the Railers eight 1st quarter points to give them the 8-7 edge. The game would take a a major turn mid-way through the 2nd quarter when Kernal, fighting underneath the basket for position with a Salina Central player, came down hard and would have to be removed from the game. The lead for Salina Central grew all the way to a 23-11 score at the half and left teammates at a loss.

“When we went into the locker room it shocked us. Desiray is our key player” junior Kalli Anderson said.

The injury to Kernal was unfortunate to a basketball team already having to adapt without senior Savannah Simmons.

“It took us by surprise, but all season we’ve been improvising and overcoming everything happening to us,” senior Aubrie Nichols said.

Coming out of halftime, the team came out with a new intensity cutting the lead to as little as five points at one point and was only down 22-31 going into the 4th quarter. The team would look to their depth to make up for the scoring presence that they were lacking without Kernal.

Seniors Taylor Antonowich and Jada Berry scored nine and seven points, respectively. By the end of the game, however, the lead built up by Salina Central proved to be too much for the Railers to overcome, falling 34-57. Senior Kyndal Bacon led the Railers with 10 points whose season came to an end on Saturday.

“I definitely feel confident going into next season. I just want to thank our seniors for everything they’ve done for us over these past few years. They’re a big part of us and always will be,” Anderson said.

The Railers will lose six seniors who scored a combined 28 points on March 3.

“I love my team, they are some of my best friends and I loved playing with them and I’m going to miss that so much,” Nichols said.