The Salem High girls will be playing for a spot in the River Ridge District basketball tournament tonight when they play host to Pulaski County.
Salem is currently 5-6 in the River Ridge and tied with Blacksburg for fourth place. The top four of the seven River Ridge teams make the tournament, and the Spartans can lock up the fourth spot with a win tonight. However, if Salem loses and the Bruins win out then the fourth spot goes to Blacksburg.
Either way is okay with Salem coach Corbitt Hairston. If the Spartans make the tournament, so be it. If they don’t, it really doesn’t mean much as the Salemites are assured a spot in the regional next week, and that’s the more important tournament. That would give Salem a solid week to prepare.
Pulaski County comes to Salem tonight with an unbeaten district record, so the Cougars figure to be favored. If Salem can pull the upset the Spartans would play in the River Ridge District semifinals on Saturday at 5 pm at Patrick Henry. And, Pulaski would again be the opponent. The championship game is next Tuesday, February 18, at PH.
Salem fell to 10-11 overall last Friday with a 73-58 loss to Cave Spring at Salem High. The Knights jumped to a 43-22 halftime lead and never gave it up as Zada Porter scored 30 points for the Knights. Kennedy Scales almost matched her with 28 for the Spartans.
“We played a pretty tough third and fourth quarter against Cave Spring,” said Hairston. “In the second quarter we only scored 10 points and there’s your 15 point deficit.”