Salisbury focuses on defense in summer
Even during the summer months, basketball teams can use certain situations to benefit themselves come the winter season. Salisbury had that chance with an opportunity to draw up a game-tying play in the final seconds recently.
Incoming senior Sean Snyder hit a foul-line jumper to tie Thursday’s game against Southern Lehigh at 50-50 to end regulation.
Snyder hit another big shot in overtime to put the Falcons ahead by a point, but the Spartans finished the game on a 6-2 run for a 60-57 win at Allen High School’s Sewards Gymnasium.
“I think offensively we played all right,” Salisbury head coach Jason Weaver said. “Our defense is a struggle. We struggled to get stops. I think offensively we played good enough to win the game. We just can’t get enough stops with their pick-and-roll, and not being able to get that big rebound.”
The offense was there, particularly early on when Salisbury built a 7-0 lead and led 14-3 moments later. But once the Spartans offense got rolling, it was tough for the Falcons to come up with any stops defensively.
The Spartans took a 28-26 lead into halftime before a back-and-forth final 20 minutes. Salisbury’s biggest lead came at 41-38 after Patrick Foley hit a timely three-pointer, forcing a timeout from Southern Lehigh.
“We’re getting contributions from a bunch of guys, which is a good thing,” Weaver said. “We’re playing nine or 10 guys in all these games, and they are all giving us something. We just have to keep getting better as a team. I’m seeing improvement and that’s what I want to see.”
Out of that timeout, however, Southern Lehigh scored the next two baskets to retake the lead at 43-41. Salisbury never led in the game despite a late surge from Snyder and Tommy Sylvester.
After the Spartans held their biggest lead at 48-43 on a three-pointer in the final minutes, Sylvester responded with a three-pointer moments later to tie the game at 48-48. Snyder’s game-tying jumper would come seconds later.
“I think we got beat back door,” Weaver said. “I think our help defense was a little slow. Defense is a lot about desire, and you can’t take a play off. And I think sometimes maybe we had four guys playing defense, but the fifth guy isn’t.”
Weaver and the Falcons’ coaching staff had asked Snyder, the team’s point guard, to look to score more. After posting 25 points in a game in the “Bash at the Beach” tournament against Allen, Snyder scored a game-high 15 against the Spartans.
“Sean Snyder is playing much better,” Weaver said. “The past two or three weeks his shot has been on. He hit that big shot to force overtime and he hit a big three in overtime.”
“We’ve been telling him that we want him to look for his shot. He’s got a great shot. He’s got to make sure that he’s looking for his shot and looking to score.
“The last few years he hasn’t been looking for his shot as much, but we’re going to need him to score.”
Salisbury will play in this week’s “A-Town Throwdown” tournament back at Cedar Beach Park. The event begins Thursday and continues through Sunday.