Falcons eyeing district berth
Following a tough loss to Southern Lehigh on January 11, the Salisbury boys’ basketball team responded with back-to-back victories over Catasauqua (52-48) and East Stroudsburg North (65-61).
And while each of those wins was only by four points, it showed a lot about head coach Jason Weaver’s team. It’s evident that the Falcons are able to come from behind and pull out a close game when necessary. The latest proof of that was last week’s win over East Stroudsburg North on Thursday.
“Being able to play in some close games and get wins in those games is a good sign for us,” Weaver said. “Our defense has been pretty solid, and I think that has been what has kept us in games. We just have to make sure we continue to do that.”
Salisbury (9-7 overall; 6-5 in Colonial League) is 8-1 this winter when allowing 50 points or less. That was the case against Catasauqua last week, but against East Stroudsburg North, it was timely execution down the stretch.
Trey Weber gave the Falcons a two-point lead in the final seconds, and Quintin Stephens recorded a steal and layup as time expired to seal the win.
“It was a good win,” Weaver said. “We didn’t play great. We didn’t shoot the ball great. They are pretty athletic and I think they made like nine 3-pointers, so they were shooting the ball pretty well.
“We took a nice 10-point lead in the third quarter, but they came right back on us. It was tied with about a minute to go. Quintin drove and passed to Trey, who made a five-footer with about 25 seconds left that put us up by two.”
Unlike its first game against Catasauqua in which the Falcons won by nearly 30 points, Salisbury struggled shooting the ball against the Rough Riders’ zone in their recent meeting.
Catasauqua actually led by nine points in the final quarter before the Falcons closed the game on one of its most impressive runs of the season.
“Against Catty we were up at halftime by I think seven points, and then we got outscored 16-4 in the third quarter,” Weaver said. “We were down nine with about three minutes to go, and we came back to win that game, too.
“They played zone [in the first meeting] and we shot the ball really well. This game it was a much tighter game. We didn’t make many shots against the zone. We were standing around a bit. But we went on a 13-0 run to end the game.”
Those two wins got the Falcons closer to one of their goals of qualifying for the District 11 Class 4A tournament. Salisbury, the sixth seed in the Colonial League, is currently holding the final playoff spot as well.
“That’s one of our goals—to get into leagues and the district playoffs,” Weaver said. “We’re actually in the sixth seed right now for the league playoffs. We’re two games away from getting into districts.
“The seniors on this team have not been in the district playoffs, so a chance to experience that for those guys would be good.”
Salisbury has missed the district playoffs in each of the past two seasons.