There were two things Ryan Modin told his Salina Central boys they could do to knock off Salina South.


Make it difficult for South to run its offense and play solid defense.


The Mustangs were able to do both while upsetting their crosstown rivals, 52-48, at the Brickhouse on Friday night.


"We just kept on battling," Modin said. "They made a run, we had an answer. We also made sure we took care of the ball.


"I’m just so proud of them and happy for them."


Central (7-9 overall, 3-6 Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League) won its second straight and handed South (10-6, 6-4) its third consecutive loss.


The Mustangs used a balanced scoring attack with senior Jevon Burnett leading the way with 11 points, and junior Reed McHenry added 10.


Sophomores Logan Losey and Nolan Puckett, and senior Aaron Watson combined for 24 points.


"Central played really well," South coach Jason Hooper said. "They shot the ball well. It was really hard to communicate in (the Brickhouse). It’s always a loud environment.


"I just felt like our offensive rhythm and flow and what we were able to do on that end wasn’t very good."


South junior Josh Jordan led the Cougars with a game-high 23 points.


The two teams struggled early on with the Mustangs clinging to an 8-6 lead after the first quarter.


In the second, neither team had a lead greater than three points until Central scored the final five points of the quarter to take a 24-18 lead at halftime.


South started the second half with a 7-0 run, but Central took a lead it didn’t give up. The Mustangs led by as many as 10 in the second half with South pulling to within three with a second remaining.


Central went 9 of 17 at the free-throw line, including 4 of 6 in the final 28 seconds, making just enough to put the game away.


"I thought it was going to be a game like that," Modin said. "We were going 1 of 2 on most of those, and missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Boy those two big free throws from Micah (Moore) iced the game. He’s in a position (as) a young guy.


"You get into these rivalry games, the guys know each other so well and they want it so bad."


Central also had the services of junior Caden Kickhaefer, back after recovering from preseason knee surgery.


"There’s a boost there," Modin said of Kickhaefer’s impact. "He didn’t do what he wanted to do offensively, but he was really, really good in the half-court defense, on the block (and) rebounding. He’s put in so much work to be there."


After playing the top two teams in the AVCTL, South wanted to continue playing like it did in consecutive losses to Derby and Campus.


"I thought against (them) we played really good basketball," Hooper said. "Tonight, we didn’t play like we did in our last two games. We were slow.


"Defensively, we were okay. They hit some shots."


Central continues its three-game homestand on Tuesday when it hosts Derby.


"We’ve got to keep the momentum going," Modin said. "We can’t have any back slides here."


South returns home on Tuesday to face Goddard-Eisenhower.


"We’ll bounce back," Hooper said. "It was a little character check for us. We never have an easy (game).


"We’re going to have to play better offensively ourselves than what we did tonight."