Salisbury boys take unbeaten Lions to OT
It was there for the taking. And, if you ask most people who witnessed the end of the game, Salisbury probably should have defeated Moravian Academy and ended the Lions’ perfect season in the process.
Instead, a rebound and put back by Moravian in the final seconds of overtime hurt the chance of handing the Lions their first loss.
Moravian’s Jordan Holmqvist missed a go-ahead baseline floater in the final seconds of the extra period, but teammate Peter Chiaradia was there for his second game-winning shot of the season. His rebound and put back with three seconds to play lifted the Lions (14-0 overall; 13-0 in Colonial League) to a 42-41 overtime win over the Falcons on Saturday morning at Salisbury High School.
Three weeks before, Chiaradia scored off an inbound pass as time expired to defeat Bangor. Moravian is the lone remaining unbeaten team in the Colonial League.
“I said it was our best defensive effort of the year,” Salisbury head coach Jason Weaver said. “We were working. We were in help, and we did a good job rebounding. Tommy [Sylvester] fouling out was a big key in that part. That hurt us. We forced Holmqvist into a tough shot, and we didn’t get the board.”
Salisbury (6-9, 4-7) outscored Moravian 12-5 in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Sylvester’s three-point play with 1:19 left in regulation tied the game after William McKay gave the Lions a late 37-34 lead.
That momentum spilled over into overtime when two free throws from Jack Frankenfield gave Salisbury a 41-39 lead with 29 seconds remaining. Homqvist hit one of two free throws seconds later, giving the Falcons possession and a one-point lead with 14 seconds to play.
Salisbury, unfortunately, threw the ball away on the ensuing inbound play. Moravian regained possession, and seconds later Chiaradia played the role of hero for the undefeated Lions.
“We just have to execute,” Weaver said. “And when we are trying to run a set play, we have to do it and execute it. We can’t freelance. We have to do what we are supposed to do.”
Chiaradia, who finished with 10 points, had another big play early in the game. As Salisbury was mounting a comeback in the first quarter, he hit a three-pointer from the right corner that gave Moravian a 16-8 lead.
The Falcons slowly crept back into the game. Quintin Stephens set up Patrick Foley for a layup on a nice give-and-go in transition to cut the Lions’ lead to 19-16 before Moravian took a five-point advantage into intermission. The Falcons went a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line in the second quarter.
Stephens hit a three-pointer just 1:05 into the third quarter and Salisbury got within 23-22 before Moravian rebuilt its lead to 32-35 heading into the fourth.
“They switched a lot, and we struggled to get the ball inside,” Weaver said. “We have to keep running stuff through. When we run stuff through, we can get looks. Sometimes we rush a little bit, and we don’t need to rush.”
Sean Snyder led Salisbury with 10 points, including a key three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. Stephens added nine for the Falcons.
Homqvist finished with a game-high 13 points for the Lions, and Abel Saft pitched in with 12 (including three three-pointers).
Results from Tuesday’s game against Northern Lehigh were not available at time of press. The Falcons face Saucon Valley in Hellertown Thursday. Game time is set for 6:45 p.m.