The Lady Seminoles varsity basketball team made history Monday night, clinching the program’s first ever spot in the Class AAAAA Elite Eight with a 42-32 victory over visiting Kell.
Ayanna Mitchell led the Lady Seminoles with 16 points, while Taylor King scored eight points in the fourth quarter that helped Salem recover from a first-half deficit.
Salem took its first lead in the third quarter, but couldn’t pull away until the fourth, earning its first Sweet 16 victory after falling in their previous two appearances.
Salem took the lead with seconds to go in the third on a Jennifer Tindi layup, but the Lady Longhorns tied the game with a 3-pointer with six minutes to go. Mitchell answered with a basket that started an 8-0 Salem run.
Kell led the entire first half, leading by seven at halftime. The Longhorns knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in the second quarter, outscoring Salem 19-12 at the break.
Salem was held scoreless for more than four minutes in the opening period, as Mitchell scored the Lady Seminoles’ first seven points.
Rosie Kyles brought Salem within five in the first half with a 3-pointer, but the basket was the last for the Lady Seminoles with 2:30 to go in the first half.
In the third, the Lady Longhorns held on to their advantage, but Shay Tarver scored back-to-back baskets to cut it to one before Tindi took the lead for the Lady Seminoles late in the period. Tarver finished with seven points on the night, while Tindi added six.
Tindi finished with a team-high 10 rebounds, while Mitchell finished with nine. Along with her seven points, travel also dished out four assists in the win.
Salem will face the winner of Tucker and Osborne which tops off Tuesday night.