SALEM With pressure on, Boardman starts quick, beats Salem
The Spartans grabbed a 20-10 first quarter lead in the 68-55 victory.
By GREG GULAS
SALEM -- Eric Baldwin scored 18 points, Matt Marks 14 and Nick Stefanovic 10 Friday as the Boardman High basketball team defeated Salem, 68-55.
"We're trying to play 10 guys, yet lacked the same intensity in the second half that we had in the first half tonight," Spartans coach Dan Gorski said.
"The players are getting an idea of what we want defensively, but with that aggressiveness comes some mistakes that we'll need to eliminate over the course of the season."
The Spartans (2-1) set the tone from the opening tip as they raced to a 6-0 lead, then coasted to a 20-10 margin after the first eight minutes of play.
Early points: Stefanovic had seven points and Mike DeOnofrio added five to pace the Spartans' offensive attack.
"We really struggled against their pressure and the fact that Mike Bailey was under the weather didn't help matters," Quakers coach George Spack said.
"Take nothing away from the Spartans as they executed their game plan all night," Spack said. "We really felt that if we were to have a chance tonight, then we would have to handle what they threw at us defensively and we didn't do a very good job of that tonight.
"In addition to handling their pressure, we felt we had to rebound and stop their inside game as well as their three-point shooting," Spack said. "Our failure to do so caused us to play catch-up and that you do not want to do against a team like Boardman."
Baldwin, who did not score in the first quarter, scored 12 of his team's 22 second quarter points, off-setting eight by Salem's Travis Mong as the Spartans built a 42-24 lead at intermission.
Mong finished with a game-high 19 points.
"You have to give Salem credit," Gorski said. "They didn't quit but that is typical of a George Spack-coached ballclub. They kept applying pressure and the result was cutting our lead in half after the break."
Open, then closed: The Spartans had their biggest lead at 57-35 on a Jay Davis layup with under a minute to play in the third period,
Boardman then watched as the Quakers cut it to 65-55 with 37 seconds remaining when Troy Tice canned both ends of his free throws.
Zac Grey had seven points in the final period for the Quakers (1-3).
Neither team was particularly impressive from the field. The Spartans canned just 22 of 58 (.379) field-goal attempts while the Quakers struggled by connecting on 20 of 49 from the field (.408).
Both teams hauled down 31 rebounds with Grey bringing in a game-high nine.
The Spartans forced the Quakers into 21 turnovers while turning the ball over just nine times.
"We have to learn how to keep a lead," Gorski said. "We really don't have the size so we need to get after people the whole game."