|Lions look strong in season-opening win over WW|
The Salem boys’ basketball team turned a one-point deficit at the end of the first quarter into a 12-point lead by halftime Wednesday, Nov. 23 against visiting West Washington.
The Lion lead only continued to grow as they cruised to a 75-48 win over the Senators.
“We beat a great team,” said Salem Head Coach Hank Weedin. “I told the boys to enjoy the moment. It was the first game of the season. We are a little deeper and it seemed to be that we are in a little better shape than them right now.
“After the first quarter we were able to get the flow of the game going the way we wanted.”
The two teams traded baskets to start the second quarter and after a basket by West Washington’s Jackson Byrne put them up 21-20, Salem responded with a an 8-0 run, putting them up seven, 28-21, with 3:43 remaining in the first half.
The Senators ended the run with two free throws by Michael Sizemore, but the Lions went on another spurt, this time 7-0, to build a 35-23 lead at the half.
During the spurt, Seth Hobson scored nine of his game-high 27 points.
Salem picked up where they left off in the second half.
A free throw by Hunter Weedin, who finished with 18 points and a basket each by Hobson and Jaelin Nice, stretched the lead to 17, 40-23.
Sizmore drilled a three after a Senators time out, but again the Lions responded.
Hobson drained a three, Xavier Haendiges hit two free throws and Weedin scored back-to-back baskets, building the Salem advantage to 23 points, 49-26.
Before the game ended, West Washington tried to put together one last run. Sizemore, who had 15 points for the Senators, converted an old-fashioned three-point play and hit another basket and two free throws by Hunter Sanford, pulled them to 17, 55-38.
That’s as close as the Senators would get.
“Our man to man press seemed to give them problems,” Weedin said. “It seemed to speed the game up to the tempo we wanted. In the second half, their shooting percentage dropped and ours sky rocketed and I credit our defense for getting us some easy shots.”
Hobson and Weedin seemed to do whatever they wanted to do in the paint.
In addition to his points, Hobson grabbed five boards and Weedin had nine.
The Coach Weedin said if they play the way they are capable, the two of them are going to be tough for opposing teams to defend.
“I thought Seth played great,” he said. “He is a very talented player. He has size and elevates well and really is a tough matchup. Then we have Hunter who compliments Seth’s play. Seth opens things up for Hunter and Hunter does the same thing for Seth. I was very pleased with our post play.
“I was also pleased with our guards playing defense on their guards.”
Hunter Weedin said he was happy with his and Hobson’s performance, but said this year’s Lions have a great balance of inside-out abilities.
“Our plan was to pound the ball inside when we got the opportunities,” Weedin said. “We also have solid athletes at the other positions, so I think this year, we will be able to take advantage of whatever opposing teams give us.”
Hobson agreed, but admitted to expecting the score to be a lot closer.
“I am a little surprised by the margin,” he said. “With it being the first game I expected us to have some rust and be a little out of shape, but there wasn’t a whole lot of that. To start the season like that was pretty huge for us.”
As big as the win over West Washington was, in the overall scheme of things it pails in comparison to what the Lions were facing Tuesday night when Brownstown Central game to town. Results of that game were not available at press time.
The game has huge implications as far as the Mid Southern Conference race goes.
After the game against the Braves, Salem will have nearly two weeks to prepare for a Dec. 10 game at Mitchell.
West Washington doesn’t have the luxury of a long break.
The Senators hosted Medora Tuesday and will host Eastern Friday night.
West Washington at Salem