The Quakers finished the game on a 17-0 run for a 57-52 victory.
By JOHN BUTERA
SALEM -- It was a game where all you really needed to see was the fourth quarter.
Ask anybody about the first three periods in Salem High's 57-52 win over The Rayen School Wednesday night and they probably wouldn't remember a thing. But ask them about the fourth quarter and they could probably provide a basket-by-basket account.
Trailing 41-36, Rayen put together a 16-1 run that looked to put the Tigers in control -- until Salem (4-1) finished with a 17-0 rally to come up with the win.
"We got too content with that big lead," said Rayen coach Tanisha Franklin. "Way too content."
"We were on our heals and they [Rayen] were being aggressive," said coach Steve Stewart of Salem. "Then they were on their heals and we started being aggressive."
The Tigers' Brittany Taylor started her team's streak with a 3-point shot with 7 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the game. Taylor had just returned to the game after going to bench with her fourth foul which she picked up with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter.
Tierra Jones then tied the score with a 2-pointer, and before long Jones had nine points in the quarter and Taylor added three more, as Rayen went ahead 52-42 with just 2:41 to go.
Salem was having trouble both shooting and protecting the ball -- the Quakers had just four shot attempts (making one) with four turnovers.
Quakers end drought
Then began the complete turn of events. Salem finally ended a scoring drought of 5:10 while the Tigers started to mishandle the ball.
Rayen's next possessions went turnover, two missed shots, another turnover, a missed free throw, then a missed layup and finally a traveling violation when the Tigers had a chance to salvage at least a tie with 12 seconds remaining.
Salem, meanwhile, answered on every trip down the floor. Four different players contributed to the game-ending 17-0 run.
"The game is 32 minutes long," said Franklin, "and you have to play all of them, especially against a team like Salem that's used to winning. We just did too many little things wrong. Missed free throws, missed box outs and turnovers."
"A win like this really gives you a lift," added Stewart. "Good teams have to find a way to win and this is the second time this year we've done this. Early on we had a hard time finding our rhythm. But even when we were down I told the girls we had a lot of time. We just had to protect the basketball."
Davidson sprarks Salem
Salem trailed 24-21 late in the first half before Natalie Davidson, who scored 10 of her team-high 21 points in the second quarter, guided the Quakers on an 8-0 run.
Kelly Roelen and Leah Perry added 13 points each.
For Rayen (2-2), Jones scored 21 points, while Taylor added 15 and Danielle Liggins finished with 12. Only four players scored points for the Tigers.