Boys hoops still seeks first victory
So far, this season has been one of the most challenging for Salisbury boys basketball head coach Jason Weaver. Friday night was another bump in the rocky road.
Moravian Academy (6-2 overall; 5-2 in Colonial League) used a strong second half to defeat Salisbury on the Lions’ home court last week. The Falcons (0-6, 0-4) have yet to win a game this season; their last victory as a program came last season in the District 11 Class 4A consolation game.
“I think it’s just a lack of playing together, a lack of confidence in our teammates, trying to follow through on the game plan, and not having some patience,” Weaver said. “When you think about how hard other teams make us work on defense, and eventually we’ll make a mistake or we’ll get out of position or we’ll give up a rebound, we don’t do that.
“A lack of defensive focus and a lack of offensive movement create a 20-point game.”
After a slow start, falling behind 9-4 early and 13-6 after the first quarter, Salisbury found a little bit of momentum against the Lions. The Falcons got within a point at 15-14 when Tommy Sylvester drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing.
But the visiting Falcons never managed to take the lead. Moravian Academy ended the second quarter on an 11-1 spurt, a foreshadowing of what was to come in the second half.
“It’s a struggle, but we’re going to keep fighting and we’re going to keep battling,” Weaver said. “I just hope these guys keep doing that as well. I want to see some fight in us. I want to see some energy. I want to see somebody lead us. Who is going to step up? Who is going to push us over the top?”
Moravian Academy junior Jordan Homqvist, the game’s leading scorer with 22 points, picked up where he left off after pouring in 16 in the first half. He added six more in the third, while point guard Abe Atiyeh scored all 11 of his in the frame and the Lions’ lead grew to 24 points entering the fourth.
As one of the most lethal scorers in the Colonial League, Weaver knew how critical it was to keep Holmqvist from getting into a rhythm. But some things are easier said than done.
“He doesn’t miss an open shot,” Weaver said. “If we give him an inch, he’s going to attack that seam. I’ve been saying that since he was a freshman that he was tough to stop.”
With Salisbury’s deficit reaching 20 points early in the third, Weaver went to his bench to provide a spark. Sophomore point guard Patrick Foley scored 11 points (with two 3-pointers) in limited action, and John Blackledge hit two shots from beyond the arc.
“I think for a couple of [Holmqvist’s shots] our help was a little slow coming over, and just understanding what we’re trying to do defensively in that situation,” Weaver said. “It’s a work in progress, but I still have the energy and motivation to get up in the morning and keep working with these guys.”
Moravian’s Peter Chiaradia also finished in double figures with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Salisbury will host Northampton on Wednesday in the first day of the Falcons’ annual Holiday Tournament. The championship and consolation games will be played on Thursday.