Salisbury Falcon Boys Basketball Playoff Wrap Up

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By Ian Carson & Luis Palacios

The Falcons were looking to have redemption against the defending champions Bangor Area High School after their loss to them the previous year. Unfortunately, the Falcons fell short again to the same team with a 56-46 loss; which is the same margin as last year. The players and coaches did not hang their heads because they have an upcoming championship opportunity in the district playoffs that started the following week.

The Falcons were set to play the winner of the North Schuylkill vs. Jim Thorpe game. Jim Thorpe came out on top of North Schuylkill; advancing them to the quarterfinal round against the Falcons. The game was held at Southern Lehigh High School on Friday, February 19th. Although Jim Thorpe was the underdog, Salisbury did not take them lightly. It seemed like Jim Thorpe could not miss a shot during the first quarter, ending the quarter leading 13-9. The second quarter was led by Salisbury’s Chad Cooperman with ten points and six of them coming from three point shots. The second half was a pretty even battle between the two teams, but the game ended with the Falcons on top, 60-55 over Jim Thorpe. This win advanced the Falcons into the semifinal game held at Whitehall High School Tuesday, February 23rd. Salisbury was set to face Blue Mountain in Tuesday night’s game.

The Salisbury boys basketball team took on the Blue Mountain Eagles Tuesday night, February 23rd. The winner of the game had the opportunity to play for the District 11 class AAA championship on Friday, February 26th. Salisbury played against Blue Mountain in the regular season opener and won 58-48.

The Falcons took an early lead ahead of the Eagles, leading 15-13 after the first quarter. Salisbury’s fast-paced offense was definitely a factor for the Falcons. Salisbury had control for most of the first half of the game, leading 34-28 at halftime. Not only was their offense effective, but their lock-down defense didn’t allow any easy points for Blue Mountain in the first half of the semi-final game.

The start of the second half was the turning point for Salisbury. Salisbury’s defense seemed to be nonexistent in the third quarter, allowing 22 points in the quarter alone. Their intense offense wasn’t working for them either, only scoring nine points in the third quarter. The score was 43-50, Blue Mountain leading.

The Falcons picked up the pace in the fourth quarter. They took the lead back and kept it for most of the quarter. With thirty seconds left in the game, the Falcons had a three point lead, and looked like they were going to come out victorious. The Eagles had the final possession in the fourth quarter, and miraculously hit a game-tying three pointer to send the game in overtime. In overtime, it was all Eagles. The Eagles jumped to an early lead sinking a couple buckets to put them ahead of the Falcons. The Falcons fought hard throughout the entire game, but the Eagles definitely made it difficult for them. With thirty seconds left in overtime, the Eagles had a 66-61 lead. The final score was 66-64, the Eagles coming out victorious. The Falcons put everything they had into this game, but it just wasn’t enough.

Senior Tevon Weber said, “It’s definitely a disappointing feeling losing this game, especially with everything that was on the line. We just have to have a short memory and focus on the game this Friday.” Senior Chad Cooperman stated, “We let it get away from us, it’s as simple as that. Our defense broke down when we needed it the most, and our offense couldn’t answer as well. But our season isn’t over yet. We just have to forget about this game and focus on Friday, and keep our season alive.”

The Falcons had a chance to get into state playoffs playing a consolation game Friday, February 26th. The Falcons played Bethlehem Catholic for the third place in districts and a spot in the state playoff bracket.

The Falcons took on Becahi on Friday, February 26th for one final chance to make it to the state playoffs. Both teams were looking for redemption for the loss they both suffered the game before. It was a closely contested game from the start with a score of 27-26, with Becahi leading. Becahi had a 52-45 lead with a little over three minutes left in the game, but the Falcons didn’t give up. The Falcons came back and went on an 11-0 game-ending run. Junior Blake Jones hit a game-tying layup while getting fouled to tie the game with 58 seconds remaining. Senior Tevon Weber hit two free throws to break the tie with 43 seconds remaining. Finally, senior Dylan Belletiere finished the game with a layup at the buzzer, defeating Bethlehem Catholic 56-52 and sealing a spot in the state playoffs.

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