Girls prepare for important stretch
Salisbury may have the toughest remaining schedule of any Colonial League girls basketball team.
Despite back-to-back contests at the end of last week against Catasauqua and Moravian Academy (teams with a combined 3-20 record as of Monday), the Falcons understood the importance of each game with playoff seeding on the line.
Following a 64-22 victory over Catasauqua on Thursday, the Falcons downed Moravian Academy two days later, 57-34. It was the first time since mid-December that the Falcons won consecutive league games.
"We were just talking the other day," Meagan Eripret said. "We were just explaining how we've qualified for districts so far. Then someone asked what it took to qualify for leagues. All we said was we need to keep winning."
The road ahead is pivotal, and the Falcons' postseason seeding will be determined in the upcoming weeks against a number of playoff teams.
First is a meeting against winless Northern Lehigh on Thursday, but the games become much tougher from that point on. On Friday, the Falcons host Saucon Valley, currently in a tie atop the East Division at 9-2. Then, Salisbury (13-3 overall, 8-3 CL) hits the road for meetings against Palmerton (9-2, second place in West Division) and Palisades (7-3, third place in East Division) next week.
Beyond that stretch, the Falcons close out their league slate with Northwestern (5-5, fourth place in West Division) and Southern Lehigh (10-1, first place in West Division), who are responsible for two of Salisbury's three conference losses.
"We need to get ourselves as much momentum as we can," Eripret said. "Even the last time we played Northern Lehigh, it wasn't an easy win. We need to play as tough as we can and really start getting the ball rolling because our last six games are going to be tough."
The Falcons wasted little time against the Lions on Saturday, jumping out to a 23-5 lead after the first eight minutes of play. Eripret (27 points) and Lindsay Bauer (16) combined for 21 in that first quarter.
Salisbury grew its lead to 39-11 at halftime, and the Falcons led by as many as 35 in a third quarter in which the starters sat for much of the period.
"If we want a shot at getting to the league finals and really making a name for ourselves, we need to keep winning," Eripret said. "I think we're doing a really good job of that lately, especially in the past two games. We've really worked the ball around together more."
Sam Fynn led the Lions with 14 points and made three three-pointers.
Following a 9-0 start to begin the season, the Falcons endured a stretch that saw them go 2-2 over the next four contests going into last week.
And while that week began with a one-point loss to Southern Lehigh, it gave the Falcons the confidence that they could compete with anyone. Days later, that momentum carried over against the Rough Riders and Lions.
"We've lost to them [Southern Lehigh] every time we've played them for as long as I've been here," Eripret said. "We were upset that we lost, but the fact that we were able to bring it that close was a big step for us."
Game time for Thursday's game against the Bulldogs is 7 p.m. at Salisbury High School.