Spartans win one, lose two in K-Guard Classic

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Salem’s Josh Bryan takes it to the hole in last week’s K-Guard Classic game with William Fleming at the Salem Civic Center.

The Salem High boys will be in Blacksburg tonight to take on the Bruins in a River Ridge District basketball game. Salem is 2-9 after losing at Hidden Valley Tuesday night, 53-43.

“We didn’t win but the guys played their tails off,” said Salem coach Kevin Garst. “They really played hard and they deserve a lot of credit for that. Chance(Staples) did an unbelievable job guarding the (Jonah) Fitzgerald kid. He’s 6’5” and a really good player.”

The Spartans participated in the K-Guard Classic tournament at the Salem Civic Center last week and went 1-2, with a win over Lord Botetourt sandwiched between losses to William Fleming and Broadway.

Salem opened the tournament on Thursday against Fleming, the eventual champion. The Colonels went on to beat Cave Spring in the final for their fifth straight K-Guard championship and Fleming had little trouble with the Spartans, winning 85-42 on opening night. Garrison Conner led the Spartans with 14 points, hitting four threes, and Josh Bryan had 11.

Willie
Plympton slips by a Fleming defender. PHOTOS BY HANK EBERT

On Friday the Spartans bounced back with a 64-55 win over Lord Botetourt. The Spartans jumped to a 25-13 halftime lead and held off the Cavaliers in a high-scoring fourth quarter. Botetourt outscored the Salemites 28-24 in the last eight minutes. Isaiah Donaldson had 19, Bryan had 16 and Conner had a dozen for the Spartans.

Salem played for fifth place on Saturday and dropped a 44-38 decision to Broadway. Donaldson had a dozen and Bryan had nine.

“I thought that was a good experience to play in the K-Guard tournament,” said Garst. “Our defense is getting better. We defended really well against Botetourt and Broadway. We struggle to score, but we’re making progress. We’re getting a good effort.”

After tonight’s game at Blacksburg the Salemites will head to Cave Spring next Tuesday for another road game. Then they’re off until January 16 when they play host to Pulaski County.