Howland defeats Quakers in MAC
Alexa Williams came through down the stretch for the Tigers.
By JOHN BUTERA
SALEM -- In a girls basketball game that featured little or no flow, Howland High sophomore Alexa Williams came through with 10 fourth-quarter points as the Tigers turned back Salem 35-31 Saturday in a key Metro Athletic Conference matchup.
Both teams now stand at 4-2 in the MAC, while Howland improved to 12-3 overall. Salem is 10-3.
The Quakers struggled but was still had a chance to win the game in the final minute before Williams made four shots on three trips to the line with less than 35 seconds remaining.
"I was just trying to drown out the crowd and I knew I had to make those for us to stay in it," said Williams.
Salem managed just 2-of-6 field goals, while turning the ball over six times in the fourth quarter.
"This was not the type of execution I'm accustomed to," said Salem coach Steve Stewart. "We executed poorly and didn't get the job done. That's what happens when you lose your focus and you are not ready to play in a big game. Still we were in a position to win late and we didn't execute."
Chance to lead
Trailing 32-31, Salem had an excellent look at the basket with 25 seconds remaining, but missed an open shot.
In the flurry that followed, Howland made 3-of-6 foul shots in the final 16 seconds to pull out the victory.
The first quarter gave fans an idea as what was to come as Howland had move turnovers (seven) then points (six), while Salem went the final 5:01 without a score. Still the Quakers led 7-6 heading into the second period.
With neither team scoring on fast breaks and both using a lot of time to set up, Salem finally ended a 0-of-12, 8:28 scoring drought, when Sarah Scullion and Sarah Ravelli each scored in an eight-second spurt to give the Quakers an 11-9 lead at 3:25.
The Quakers held a 18-14 lead at the intermission and with each team scoring three times in the third quarter, Salem was ahead 24-21 heading into the final quarter.
"Our guards did a nice job in the first half and our big girl [Williams] did a nice job in the second half," said Howland coach John Diehl.
"Now, I hope Salem can knock off Canfield. This keeps us alive mathematically [for the MAC title]," said Diehl.