By Greg gulas
Ryan Bush scored 23 points to lead three Salem players in double figures as the Quakers defeated Lakeview, 69-48, in a Division II sectional first-round game Tuesday night at Boardman High School.
“We wanted to start tournament play like we ended the regular season and that is to keep pushing the ball up the court,” Bush said. “We like to run, but realize we have to execute at both ends of the court if we expect to win.”
Bush and Anthony Shivers (15 points) each scored 10 in the first quarter as Salem (17-6) opened a 23-6 margin heading to the second period.
Lakeview’s Brandon Bensing caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 10 of his team-high 17 points for the Bulldogs (4-19) as they pulled to within 29-20 at the 2:40 mark.
Salem’s Max Wolfgang, who had a game-high 14 rebounds, then keyed an 8-0 run by the Quakers as they finished with a 37-20 lead at intermission.
“Give credit to Lakeview because they played hard the entire game,” Shivers said. “They fell behind early but never quit and fought us right to the end. We tried to crank it up a notch defensively, but they matched our intensity the entire game.”
“Lakeview is a young team and they didn’t back down, even when the score was 23-6,” Salem coach Rich Hart said. “They had a nice run of their own and while I was happy with our first-quarter play, we made some silly mistakes and costly turnovers after that and we must cut that out when we meet Ravenna. We tend to start slow so to get off to a quick start tonight was a nice bonus. Also, I was happy with the way we shot the ball from the perimeter and with Max because he set the game for us defensively.”
Two buckets from beyond the arc by Zach Economous helped Salem increase its lead to 65-39 with just under 3 minutes remaining.
Economous scored a career-high 11 points.
“There is no quit in our kids and I told our seniors how proud I was of their effort tonight. We’ve been a slow starting team all season long,” Lakeview coach Craig Mild said. “The positive for us tonight was that we got off 74 shots. The negative is that we made just 18 of those attempts. We preached all year that we belong despite our youth. This year was a real baptism under fire for all of us.”
Salem canned 23 of its 48 field-goal attempts and held a 45-40 rebounding advantage.
Bensing’s 10 rebounds gave him a season ending double-double for the Bulldogs.