A minor adjustment made a major difference for the Salem boys basketball team in the Woburn Tournament championship game.
Witches’ coach Tommy Doyle elected to switch into a zone defense for the second half and that move helped turn a three-point halftime deficit into a lopsided 69-47 win.
Christian Dunston was named tournament MVP after collecting 26 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals in the title-clincher. Billy Muse, who hit four threes in the first quarter and finished with 19 points, and Marvin Baez (6 points, 5 steals) were also named to the all-tournament team.
“We went to a zone to offset the size difference,” Doyle said. “They were quick going to the basket and we had to stop their penetration and double down on their size. We shut them down a little bit.”
Salem, which moved to 16-5, will conclude its season on Thursday at Everett.
Newton North 58, Danvers 42: Nick McKenna scored 16 points and was named to the IAABO Board 27 Comcast Classic All-Tournament Team, but the Falcons dropped their second straight game to end the regular season. The Falcons finished 18-2.
Arlington 61, Bishop Fenwick 38: Joe Buccheri scored 14 points and added four steals and Matt Costello contributed eight points and seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Crusaders slipped to 6-13.
Salem 55, Everett 48: Sophomore Jaclyn Panneton had a monster game with 19 points and 19 rebounds as the Witches (9-10) kept their postseason hopes alive. They must now win at Malden tomorrow (2 p.m.) to qualify for the state tournament; a loss will end their season.
Freshman Brianna Rodriguez added 15 points in the win for Salem while sophomore Arianna Gaffney chipped in with 13. In addition, sophomore Hannah Van de Stadt corralled nine rebounds in her first varsity start.
Hamilton-Wenham 48, North Reading 34: Haley Willis scored 15 points and added five steals as the Generals improved to 12-5. Cassandra Fibbe pitched in with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Sue Rose scored six points and dished out 10 assists.