Salem girls hang on to beat Glenvar in battle of local teams

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Salem’s Deneja Hampton jumps high to save the ball in
during Monday’s game at Glenvar. PHOTO BY BRIAN HOFFMAN

The neighboring girls’ high school basketball teams met on the court for the first time in recent memory Monday and Salem came out with the win. The Spartans held off a furious Glenvar rally to take a 60-53 win over the Highlanders at GHS.

For a half, it was all Salem. The Highlanders had trouble with Salem’s full-court press and trailed 30-15 at intermission. Glenvar had 30 turnovers for the game.

“We saw their press on film and we worked on it, but when you only have eight girls it’s hard to simulate it,” said Glenvar coach Brian Crockett. “In the three games before that we had six, six and nine turnovers, but no one had pressed us like that. The good thing is, it will help us get ready for teams like Floyd.”

Glenvar trailed 44-23 into the fourth quarter and Salem appeared to have the game well in hand, but then the Highlanders got red hot. After scoring 23 in the first three quarters the Highlanders scored 30 in the fourth quarter alone and had the lead down to eight at one point.

“We were able to hang on and get the win,” said Salem coach Corbitt Hairston. “We still have a lot to learn.”

Katie Evans led Salem with 15 points and Deneja Hampton had 12 to lead Salem. The Spartans hit 19 of 23 free throws in the game.

Glenvar’s Kiera Omberg leaps over Salem’s Ayzah
Burnette to score in Monday’s game at GHS.
PHOTO BY BRIAN HOFFMAN

For Glenvar Kiera Omberg had 23 points and Kyleigh Drew had 20. Sophomore Kyra King did a good job on the boards for the Highlanders.

Salem was back in action Tuesday night and the Spartans dropped a 58-35 game at Patrick Henry. Salem was within five points in the second half but hit a cold spell and PH turned it on.

“We just ran into a team with too much size and speed,” said Hairston. “They wore us down.”

Evans had a dozen points, Kendra Bolen had nine and Hampton had seven. Bolen and Hampton had seven rebounds each to lead the Spartans.

Salem is now 2-4 and that’s a big improvement over last year’s winless season. The Spartans will be at Christiansburg this Friday in their final game before Christmas break.

“We have most of the same girls out there as last year but this is a different team,” said Hairston. “We’re a lot better, and we’ll continue to get better.”

Glenvar dropped to 4-4 with losses to two Class 4 teams, as the Highlanders played at Blacksburg last Friday and lost by a point, 37-36, on a layup with 15 seconds left. The Highlanders had one last chance but the Bruins got a steal to put it away. Freshman Olivia Harris led Glenvar with 14 points, including four threes, and Omberg had 13.

“It’s really going to help us down the road to play teams like this,” said Crockett. “We’ve gotten a lot better.”

The Highlanders are now off until January 2nd when they return from the holiday break to host Carroll County in a girls-boys doubleheader.