South Salem’s Basketball Scrimmage

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  At the college-level, they have something similar in introducing their teams in a intra-squad scrimmage, but Friday night gave South Salem fans an opportunity to showcase what is to come this season from Saxon Basketball.

For the South Salem Boys Basketball program, who had the latter game Friday night scrimmage in front of the home crowd, the red team that featured Jaden Nielsen-Skinner pushed the white team that featured 2016-2017 Honorable Mention Ryan Brown and 2016 second-team All-GVC Tyler Wadleigh by rallying to take a 17-15 lead with a few seconds left in the 10 minute, running clock scrimmage after being down 9-2 early on.

Nieslen-Skinner, a junior this season and first-team All-Greater Valley Conference last season, slowly got into what has made him great the past few years for the Saxons with South trying to get back to the Chiles Center in 2018; but with the competitive juices flowing. fellow guard in Wadleigh wasn’t going to let his fellow sharp-shooter take this scrimmage away from him by heaving a three-point shot to be fouled for three free-throws.

Wadleigh, hit all three to give the White Team a one-point lead with less than three seconds remaining on the clock and a five-second violation on the red team sealed the one-point win for the white team.

Mel Umulap (5) guarding the in-bound pass during Friday’s scrimmage (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

On the girls Varsity side, the scrimmage allowed for a new look Saxon team that will be entering it’s first season without big names like Evina Westbrook, Dani Harley and Hannah Hersh to showcase what they have entering this season.

“I think it was really fun, it was a really good opportunity to get the team a whole better,” said first-year Varsity player in sophomore Mel Umulap on the scrimmage.  “Once we get our team bonding, just got to be more closer and get to know each other as a family.”

With Adrian Lewis taking over the reigns from previous coach Nick McWilliams, the junior class that’s now

“I think it’s coming along but I ahve seven seniors that have a lot of playoff experience which is awesome.  Big shoes to fill with Evina, Dani and Hannah going, but I have some underclassmen coming to make some noise,” said Lewis on the team. “Right now we’re battling a lot of injuries so we didn’t really play those younger girls right now because they are coming back from injury but it’s going to be a process but I’m not too worried about it right now.”

Morgan Windler is returning from last year’s team, the senior averaged nine points a game as a junior last season and Lewis is expecting a lot from her this season, Josie Ferry and Alexis Hicks are coming along as Lewis is embracing the challenge of continuing the tradition that

“I’m not going to run from the tradition that we have, I embrace it and I think we’re going to perform at a High level and be right up there in league if not win it.  But it’s going to take time, it really is,” starts Lewis.

“It’s a process.  It’s not going to be the same show, I’m a different kind of coach and I’m going to do a couple of things so I’m just excited for the opportunity.”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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