By Matt Jenkins
---- — If you slay two giants on back-to-back nights, does that automatically make you a giant?
That’s the question now surrounding the Salem High boys basketball team after dropping Division 1 power Lynn English from the unbeaten ranks — just one night after doing the same to two-time defending state champion Danvers.
The Witches built a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter and held on for a 74-69 victory over the Bulldogs on the road last night.
“They played hard to end both games,” Salem (6-1) coach Tommy Doyle said. “We practiced a lot for Danvers but didn’t really (have time to) prepare for English. We went over a lot of stuff on the boards and they stepped up, listened and executed most of the time.”
Salem got huge contributions from several players. Bryan Martinez-Rodriguez led all scorers with 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out five assists. David Kazadi came through with 13 points and 17 boards, while Rashad Keys scored 19 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and added a pair of rim-rocking dunks.
Martinez-Rodriguez, a forward, was key in Salem’s ability to break Lynn English’s pressure defense.
“We tried to break their pressure through him in the middle,” Doyle said. “He was able to either score or dish; that’s how we scored if we did break it.”
Martinez-Rodriguez also made some key free throws down the stretch, and Salem stuck with the 3-2 zone that worked so well against Danvers on Tuesday.
“We made a few tweaks and it seems to be working,” Doyle said. “Now, we just gotta fine tune and keep it going.”