Pangburn executed its game plan to perfection in the first quarter, slowing the game down while taking care of the ball against the relentless full-court pressure applied by Salem's Greyhounds on Tuesday night in 2-2A Conference play at Tiger Arena.
Pangburn executed its game plan to perfection in the first quarter, slowing the game down while taking care of the ball against the relentless full-court pressure applied by Salem's Greyhounds on Tuesday night in 2-2A Conference play at Tiger Arena. But, trailing 15-12 after one quarter of play, the Greyhounds' traps began to produce points in bunches as they outscored the Tigers 24-5 in the second quarter. Salem never let up until a tornado warning caused both teams to clear the floor with 5:25 remaining, leaving the final at 68-38. Salem guard J.J. Gray opened the scoring with a jumper from left elbow then point guard Justice Sparks turned a steal into a free throw. Using patience against the Greyhounds' man-to-man defense, Pangburn forward Ty Galyan found an open lane to the basket for a layup then guard Austin Smith added a floater from right baseline while absorbing contact. After Smith completed the three-point play, Salem scored four straight, including an off-balance bank shot by Gray, pushing the Greyhounds' in front, 7-5. Pangburn countered with a 6-0 spurt as guard Alec Bourgeois pulled down an offensive rebound and hit a short jumper then point guard Dillon Parrott registered two buckets on a pair of strong drives to the basket. Salem forward Kyndal Smith responded with a jumper from right elbow but Parrott fired back with two free throws before Sparks drained a three-pointer from right wing. With 1:05 left to play in the first quarter and Pangburn clinging to a one-point lead, Parrott canned a pair of free throws, giving the Tigers a 15-12 lead entering the second quarter. Salem (11-10, 9-4) opened the second stanza with a 12-0 run and never looked back. Forward Hunter Medling sparked the Greyhounds' game changing run with a three-pointer from left wing then forward Cody Faulkner picked a steal and finished with an uncontested layup. Sparks added five more, including a three-pointer out front and Medling completed the run with a steal and layup as Salem's pressure began to cause trouble for the Tigers, who lost Parrott to an injury, which compounded their ball handling problems. Pangburn pulled within six when Galyan slashed into the lane and scored while drawing a foul and he completed the three-point play. But Salem closed the first half with a 12-2 spurt, which included seven consecutive points from forward Kyndal Smith, who first hit a fade away, then recorded a putback and Smith finished his scoring spree by turning a steal into an old-fashioned three-point play. Pangburn briefly stopped the bleeding with two free throws, but Salem guard Will Wilkins buried a three-pointer from left wing, pushing the Greyhounds' lead to 36-20 at halftime. Salem came out of the locker room on fire in the third quarter as Sparks pumped in 11 points, including three treys, Faulkner buried two three-pointers while scoring eight points in the period and Wilkins also knocked down a three-pointer. Once the dust settled, Salem had outscored the Tigers 28-17 in the third quarter for a commanding 64-37 lead entering the final eight minutes of play. Salem quickly placed the mercy-rule into effect in the fourth quarter when Smith notched a rebound bucket with 6:50 remaining and the game was called official just over a minute later when a tornado warning was issued for northern White County. Sparks poured in a game-high 24 points for Salem, Kyndal Smith followed with 13, Faulkner had 10 and Gray finished with eight. Galyan and Austin Smith each scored nine points to pace Pangburn and Parrott finished with eight ¬ all in the first quarter before suffering an injury.