(Salem MA) It wasn’t pretty but it was plenty exciting!
Salem held off formerly undefeated Danvers, 41-38, before an excellent weekday crowd on Tuesday night.
Danver’s Devan Harris took the last shot…….a three from the right corner that rimmed out with a second left. If that goes the game would have gone into overtime, but instead Rashad Keys of Salem secured the rebound and the Witches had the win.
This game was low in scoring but abundant in miscues. Bad passing decisions caused many of the forty-one turnovers (21 Danvers, 20 Salem) that I unofficially totaled.
Danvers (8-1) started fast getting the game’s first seven points and later building a 19-10 advantage with 4 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter.
The Falcons had five turnovers and one point to show for the rest of the second quarter. Salem (5-1) took flawless care of the ball and put ten points together (three layups Bryan Martinez-Rodriguez, jump shot David Kazadi, 3-pointer Jamie Dominguez) and had a 21-20 halftime lead.
That one-point lead held up through the third quarter. Jamie Dominguez (11 points) and Mark McCarthy (12 points) both had two 3’s in the period. Jamie’s first one was three straight free throws.
Danvers regained the lead (34-33) early in the final quarter as Peter Merry (14 points) converted his own rebound.
Salem scored all the points in the next 3 1/2 minutes on outside shots by Rashad Keys, Kelven Perpetuo, and David Kazadi (10 points) and Danvers never recovered from the 39-34 deficit. They certainly came close!
Inside scores by Peter Merry at 1:27 and :26 had the visitors within one.
The Falcons gave two fouls and then got Jamie Dominguez to the free throw line shooting 1-and-1 with ten seconds left. Jamie calmly sank both tries boosting the lead to three.
The Falcons executed their tying attempt perfectly. The ball was on one side and Devan Harris, who had been in close to the basket all night long, drifted to the weakside corner. A long diagonal pass (from Kashad Francois) found the Hingham transfer with a great look. But his shot rimmed out to deny overtime.
A scary moment for Salem was when Rashad Keys went out with a leg injury early in the second quarter. The newcomer from Mississippi, however, did return in the second half.
Good crowd on hand from both schools. There was plenty to cheer and groan about in this one.
At halftime there was an excellent presentation on cancer awareness. Both teams were wearing shirts for the event.
Next for Salem is home versus Revere on Friday night.
Danvers will travel to Swampscott on the same night.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)