SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

February 1, 2014

Second half struggles sink Salem, snap win streak

SALEM — Sometimes all it takes is a minor defensive switch to transform the Lynn English boys basketball team from beatable to unbelievable.

Bulldogs coach Mike Carr made a small halftime adjustment last night, hoping to change the pace of the game, and it paid off as English ran away from Salem in the second half for a 68-57 win.

The loss snapped a 10-game win streak for Salem, which now sits at 12-2.

“In the second half we went to a triangle-and-two and had success with it,” Carr said. “That got us up-tempo and got us some turnovers. If we’re not turning teams over, we’re just average at best. The kids responded in the second half.”

Salem defeated the Bulldogs in Lynn earlier this season, and the Witches controlled play in the first half.

They kept their turnovers down, slowed the pace of the game, and confused the Bulldogs with their 3-2 zone before halftime.

After intermission, everything started slipping away from Salem.

“It was lots of things. I really think they executed a good game plan. We tried to take certain things away and we addressed certain things, but it didn’t happen,” Salem coach Tom Doyle said. “Leaving Freddie (Hogan) alone early in the second half and him hitting two wide open threes was bad. Our focus on defense was to find him and they got a lot of transition points and we turned the ball over (in the second half). Those were the three things we focused on and we just didn’t execute.”

Lynn English (11-3) started the second half with an 8-0 run, highlighted by a pair of Hogan 3-pointers, to take a 36-33 lead. After Jamie Dominguez dropped in a pull-up jumper to cut it back to one (36-35), the Bulldogs reeled off the next 11 points for a 47-35 advantage.

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