SALEM — For the second time this season the Salem boys basketball team blew a big, fourth quarter lead against a team from Lynn.
Apparently, the Witches had to lose to learn their lesson.
Lynn Classical overcame a double-digit deficit with two minutes left before taking control in overtime to down Salem, 66-61 on the Witches home court.
Earlier in the season Marvin Baez drained a three-pointer in overtime to give the Witches a one-point win over Lynn English. Baez couldn’t connect at the end of regulation this time around and some forced shots and hurried possessions in overtime led to Salem’s second loss of the season.
“It’s something where we just have to learn to close games better,” said Salem (4-2) head coach Tom Doyle. “We didn’t execute our game plan, they made some key plays and we didn’t. They got off to a good start (in overtime) and we were playing desperately when we didn’t need to be and we weren’t able to recover. It was unfortunate.”
Doyle could only watch frustrated from the sideline as Salem took field goals early in the shot clock, turned the ball over in the back court and allowed a few easy layups. The Witches led 57-47 with two minutes left before Jorge Perez knocked down his first and only trifecta of the second half to tie the game with 11 seconds left.
“We threw a quick little trap (at Salem) and picked up a couple steals,” said Classical (4-5) head coach Tom Grassa. “Every time we got close their (Salem’s) pressure forced us into some bad turnovers. (In the last two minutes) we clawed our way back.”
Eraldo Custodio did most of the damage for the Rams. The senior forward scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half or overtime.