By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– Salem Academy worked their way through the turnover bug to start the Abby’s Holiday Classic at North Marion High School Thursday afternoon
Opportunities were given to the quick Valley Catholic squad as they built leads of 14-8 and 25-18, but the Crusaders found ways with their offense to claw their way back into the game. Having tying the game at 16 with Cole Hardy’s lay-in and Hardy got them to within one after a pair of Free Throws at 27-26.
“We had a lot of turnovers and we need to cut down on turnovers. On each possession we need to score and we need to get offensive rebounds,” said Luke Miller, who had 15 points and six rebounds in the game. “We can’t be giving up two shots to our one, we just need to work on rebounding.”
Those were Hardy’s lone points of the half as Benett Bos had a near first half double-double with nine points, seven rebounds as they were down four at the halftime at 30-26. Bos finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
But the game took a nasty turn of the worst for Salem Academy when turnovers turned momentum into the favor of the Valiants. Six quick turnovers mixed in with Valley Catholic winning the rebounding advantage sparked a 15-0 run within the first three minutes of the half.
“That was the turning point in the game. We started the third quarter we turned the ball over four-or-five straight times, they went on a 13-0 run. I called two timeouts to try to stop the bleeding and that was the ball game right there,” said Head Coach Ryan Kendall as they committed 27 turnovers in the game. “They got us out of our game. Defensively they made us do what they wanted us to do instead of us doing what we wanted to do.
“After that 13-point run we kept it close after that 13, but you can’t do that.”
After the run that got the Valiants up 45-26, Salem Academy settled back down and got the game to within 12 with five to go, but two crucial turnovers halted the comeback at that close mark as Valley Catholic kept the Crusaders from coming back into the game.
Salem Academy will be back at it again Friday at 3:30pm versus Molalla, the Indians lost to Woodburn 84-34 Thursday night as both teams met up at North Marion.
“We just got to be a lot more cleaner with the ball, we need to be talking on who’s up behind us,” said Miller. “We definitely need to work on boxing out, just find a guy and get the board.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald