Trailing for most of the game, the Spartans rallied to tie with about a minute to go. The Demons made a two to take the lead, then Salem made one of two free throws to cut the lead to one. Forced to foul, Salem sent Christiansburg to the line for two shots and the Demons made them both for a three point lead.
Salem hustled the ball over half court and coach Kevin Garst called timeout with eight seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbounds Jacob Dobb got a good look shot at a three to try and send the game into overtime. The ball hit the rim, bounced high, hit the wire above the basket and fell through the hoop. For a second the Spartans thought they tied it.
“It was a good call, I saw it hit the wire,” said Garst. “That’s the way things have been going for us.”
The loss ruined a 27 point night by Baylor Mabes. Isaiah Donaldson had nine points and Dodd and Shane Simpson finished with seven each.
The loss dropped Salem to 3-13 on the season. The Spartans did manage a win last Friday when they beat Pulaski County at home. It was a good time to pick up a win as it was “Sandlot Lot” and many future Spartans were on hand, having a good time as their heroes played one of their best games of the season.
“We competed,” said Garst. “I thought we played real well in that one.”
Salem jumped to a 22-12 lead after one quarter and led by one point at the half and after three quarters before outscoring Pulaski 22-11 down the stretch. Mabes had 23, Donaldson had 15 and Simpson had 11 to lead the Spartans.
On Monday Salem had a makeup game with Blacksburg and fell 73-66 at home. The Spartans were down 32-24 at the half and got to within four in the second half. They got balanced scoring in this one as Mabes and Donaldson had 14 each, Simpson had 13 and Dodd had 12. However, Salem has continued to struggle to get points off the bench.
The Spartans will return the trip to Blacksburg this Friday. Next week they have three home games with Cave Spring coming in Tuesday, Carroll County Friday and Martinsville on Saturday, February 4, for the Adam Ward Classic.
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