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Salem beats Heritage for 1st region wins

Salem took the court for its first region game on Tuesday night, and transferred its strong non-league season into the very early stages of 8-AAAA.

The boys team snapped a two-game losing streak, and pulled out a 59-45 win over Heritage, while the girls dominated in their 50-29 win of the Salem Seminoles' cross-town rivals.

The boys' game was tight throughout as Salem led 27-22 at halftime. The Patriots pulled ahead at one point in the third quarter, and Salem coach Darren Wilkens went to his bench.

"It was a big of a challenge," Wilkens said. "We were struggling, and I didn't really like the pace of the game."

Ahmad Mitchell, Jared Brockman, Deymon Greenwood and Jaquan Davis helped lead a Salem surge.

"They came in playing extremely hard, and pushed us back in front," Wilkens said. The defense really picked up. The intensity on the full press got some turnovers, and got something easy going to the basket. That made a big difference."

The Salem Seminoles' starters then went back in for the fourth quarter, and pulled away.

Dedrick Turner scored 11 of his 17 points in the final period, leading a group of Caneshe Green, Todd James, Marques McKoy and Terry Salter.

Green added 12 points, going 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.

"It was our first region win, but we haven't really played well at home the last couple of games," Wilkens ssaid. "Being able to fight and pull that one out tonight was big."

The Salem girls' picked up its first Region 8-AAAA victory of the season, also, on Tuesday night.

It was only the second time all season that the Lady Seminoles had to try and pick up a win after a loss, and like the first, the result was a positive one.

Nikkira Brown led the way in the scoring column with 16 points, but it was Salem's effort on the defensive end, and on the glass that secured the win.

Ayanna Mitchell grabbed 17 rebounds and Danielle Thomas 15 as the Lady Seminoles limited their cross-town rivals on second-chance opportunities.

First-chance opportunities were limited as well, as Brown and Mitchell had three steals each, and Salem limited yet another team to under 30 points. It was the seventh time this season the Lady Seminoles have accomplished the feat.
Salem has allowed an average of just 29.6 points per game in its 13 contests.

The only times Salem has allowed more than 30 points, where in its two losses. The first, 43-34 to Central Gwinnett, came on Dec. 20, and the second was 46-42 to Osborne on Saturday.

Salem will travel to Cedar Shoals on Friday.