Salisbury girls headed to D-11 tourney
Despite finishing with a below-.500 record, the Salisbury girls’ basketball team has qualified for the District 11 Class 3A tournament.
The Falcons (8-14 overall, 7-11 in Colonial League) earned the eighth and final seed in the tournament after Palmerton defeated Northern Lehigh last Thursday night. Salisbury, however, isn’t entering the postseason on particularly a high note.
In its final game of the regular season, Salisbury faced league unbeaten Southern Lehigh and found itself in a hole from the opening tip. The Spartans (18-0), the heavily favored squad to win the Colonial League, jumped out to a 19-2 first-quarter lead and earned the 60-17 win over the host Falcons last Tuesday night.
The way Salisbury played against Southern Lehigh was a resemblance of how it played the second half of the season. After winning its first two league games of the winter season, including a 45-34 win over a Colonial League playoff team in Bangor, the wheels started to derail on Salisbury’s train in mid-January.
Sitting at 5-3 in the Colonial League midway through the season, a league playoff spot was certainly still alive. But inconsistency down the stretch and an inability to handle opposing team’s pressure was a big factor in the Falcons losing four in a row and five of their final six games.
The season finale’s 43-point letdown against Southern Lehigh might have been the most discouraging loss of the winter.
Southern Lehigh’s Amanda Mobley scored six of her game-high 15 points in the second quarter, and the Spartans smelled blood by opening up a 33-5 lead at halftime. It only got worse from that point forward for the Falcons.
Mobley scored six more in the third quarter, as did Avery Bennet in helping the Spartans to a 16-point frame. But more importantly was Southern Lehigh’s defensive pressure that held Salisbury scoreless in the third.
The Spartan starters didn’t play in the fourth with the game well in-hand. Olivia Snyder’s 14 points and four steals were also huge in propelling Southern Lehigh to put a stamp on its perfect Colonial League season.
Sarah McGee’s nine points led Salisbury, while Melena Koutch finished with six points for the Falcons. McGee was the only starter to score against Southern Lehigh.
A total of eight teams qualify for the Class 3A district tournament. Six teams from District 11 qualified (North Schuylkill, Notre Dame-Green Pond, Pine Grove, Palisades, Palmerton and Salisbury) and two from District 1 earned spots (Saint Basil Academy and New Hope-Solebury).