The Salem High boys’ basketball team saw their season come to and end with a 55-38 loss to Cave Spring last Friday. The game was an opening round contest in the River Ridge District tournament, hosted by Cave Spring.
Salem was the sixth seed in the seven team district, drawing the third seeded Knights for the opening round. The Spartans trailed 29-22 and Cave Spring opened the lead in the third quarter, outscoring Salem 14-5 to take control.
“Our kids fought from start to finish, I thik you could say that about them all season,” said Salem coach Kevin Garst. “They never quit.”
Isaiah Donaldson led Salem with 13 points and Josh Bryan had a dozen. Salem only had four players score as Alex Blanchard had eight and Garrison Conner had five points.
The loss ended Salem’s season at 6-17. The Spartans did not make the Class 4A, Region D tournament that will begin this week. Only the top eight among the 12 region teams qualify and they’re ranked by winning percentage regardless of strength of schedule.
“I think if you’re going to limit the number of teams in the region they need to come up with a better system,” said Garst. “There’s too many variables. You have strength of schedule and injuries that come up. I know we’re a lot better team now than we were at the beginning of the season.”
Salem will graduate four seniors, Conner, Willie Plympton, Brian Hutton and Devin Shepherd. Four of the five starters return.
“We have some good players coming back and our jayvee team was competitive,” said Garst.