SALEM — The Salem boys basketball team turned the ball over time and again in the second half last night against Lynn English as a
double-digit fourth quarter lead disappeared and the Witches seems to be doing their best to give the game away.
In the blink of an eye, Marvin Baez took it back.
Down by two points in overtime, Baez drained a deep three-pointer off an in-bound pass with two seconds left as Salem survived a furious English comeback with a 84-83 win.
“That was probably the best shot of my career. I couldn’t believe it,” explained Baez. “We were down so I was just hoping it was in.”
After Fred Hogan missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Christian Dunston grabbed the rebound and headed up the court as head coach Tommy Doyle called for time out. On the ensuing inbound, Billy Muse ran to the corner while Jared Louf-Woods and Emilio Beato set a double-screen for Baez, who caught the pass from Dunston, didn’t hesitate, and knocked down his second trifecta of the extra period.
Salem (2-0) had led by 15 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter before the Lynn English pressure defense finally seemed to begetting to the Witches.
“We went from the highest of highs up 15 (points) and looking good, to the lowest of lows down points and looking like its over,” said Doyle. “Our kids just never quit, they held their heads high and they worked their butts off. They stayed positive and they stayed together and it worked out great.”
The Bulldogs (1-1) tried to trap all game and sent constant, relentless pressure at Dunston (21 points), who was brilliant in the first quarter and made big plays for the Witches down the stretch.
Salem led 50-37 at the half before English dialed up the defensive intensity and took Salem out of its game.