By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– West Salem may have hit their stride following their 57-48 win over South Salem for their eighth-straight following their 2-7 start to their year. Thanks in part to a tough preseason that has helped them prepare for what has aided them in starting Mountain Valley Conference league 7-0 entering the second loop through league following their Thursday night home victory.
“We’ve had a hard preseason and that’s what prepared us for these league games. Now we got it all over again and hopefully we get there,” West Salem’s Mya Adams said. “We definitely want to come out with a few new things and we’re always going to go 100-percent and try our best. Go out there and play as a team.”
Adams led the Titans with 20 points, scoring 12 of her points in the first half to help aid West Salem to a halftime lead at 28-23. She helped defensively as the Titans turned the five point lead into a 15-point, 50-35 lead with 5:37 left in the contest.
“This year I wanted to take on the leadership and I think this was the game for it. We went out there and gave it our hardest and it came out the way we wanted it,” Adams said. “We knew this game was a very important game. We came out controlling, we wanted it and we gave it our all.”
“We went through a stretch there in the third where we couldn’t hit a basket. I think it was a four- or five-minute stretch where we didn’t have a bucket and they went on their run then and we were playing catch-up from there. I tip my hat off to them, hopefully next time we can make a couple of shots,” South Salem Head Coach Adrian Lewis adds.
The Saxons defense matched that of West Salem outside of that run South went on to start the second half with the difference maker, and with them getting healthier with Lexi Dalton picking up some minutes after missing a few games, the Saxons hope to enter the second half of league strongly. Hoping over the course of the final seven games of the season, they can make a move towards the top half of the league standings starting with their game Saturday against Mountain View.
And they had some help with that in terms of momentum to propel them forward from Thursday’s game. Over the course of the final 5:37 against the Titans, South Salem clawed their way back into the game. Turning the 15-point margin and reduced it to 52-46 by the 1:05 mark of the fourth quarter with the hopes that this loss to West Salem will spark them as the loss to the Cougars did on January
“We’re starting to get healthy again. Lexi Dalton, it’s her first game back in a month…she was limited today. So I’m excited to see her more and more minutes, she’s been a starter that averages ten points and three steals for us. It’s nice to see her getting back out there and applying that pressure,” Lewis said. “We just got to move on to the next game…we just got to stay focused. We were a little pissed off last time, so I think that helped us. It helped us light another fire that we can continue to roll with. But I’m just happy that we’re getting girls back and just leaning on our seniors to finish us strong. We still have seven more games and we’re pushing for the playoffs, so we’re just going to keep getting better.”
South Salem, led by Maggie Lapray’s 12 points, had three girls in double-figures Thursday. Halley Barram (11) and Maddie Dustin (10) were the other two with Mountain View coming to Salem Saturday for a 2:30pm start. West Salem travels to play McKay Saturday afternoon at 1:30pm as the Titans had Lizzy Bennett, who finished with 17 points, as the only other player in double-figures in the victory.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald