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Salem outlast Lady Rams
Salem earned the season sweep over Newton Saturday with a 53-41 rivalry win. - photo by Darrell Everidge

The Salem Seminoles girls varsity basketball team hosted the Lady Rams Saturday in the team’s second and final matchup of the season, besting Newton 53-41 in the rivalry clash.

“I am so proud of them,” Lady Seminoles coach Rochone Dilligard said. “The things that we worked on in practice we really break them down and get into it mentally and they were able to come out and execute on the floor.”

The game began with the Lady Seminoles getting out to a 4-0 run on two layups by senior center Jennifer Tindi. Newton tied the game up on two shot makes by senior forward Sonia Forney. It was a back and forth first quarter, but Salem went on a 7-0 run to close out the period, capturing a 17-11 lead.

The Lady Seminoles opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run to increase their lead to double digits. The buckets came on a layup by junior Ayanna Mitchell and a 3-pointer by junior guard Shay Tarver.

The Lady Rams cut the lead back to eight points after a free throw and a put back layup by senior guard Mercedes Booker. 

Mitchell took control of the second quarter, scoring eight points in the period, and the Lady Seminoles took a 28-19 lead into halftime.

The third quarter began with both teams trading free throws instead of buckets. The first bucket of the quarter came on a layup by Tarver and the Lady Seminoles increased their lead up to 12 after two free throws by junior guard Rosie Kyles.

The Lady Rams answered with a short 4-0 spurt, but the Lady Seminoles continued their offensive onslaught, running up their lead up to 14 points. 

The lead was cut back to 11 after the Lady Rams’ senior Deandra Reed made a 3-pointer, putting Newton within 42-31 after the third quarter.

The fourth quarter began with Salem going on a 5-0 run to increase its lead to 16 points. The Lady Rams attempted a comeback effort, going on an 8-4 run to close out the game, but in the end, the Lady Seminoles prevailed 53-41. 

The Lady Rams were led in scoring by Forney who had 16 points and the Lady Seminoles were led in scoring by Mitchell and Tarver who each had 13 points. Mitchell also finished with 15 rebounds, whole Tarver had five rebounds and five assists.

“Ayanna is so aggressive but she makes things come to her whether it be defensively, whether it be off the glass or whether it be offensively.” Dilligard said.

The Lady Rams will return to action Wednesday at home against Rockdale County at 6 p.m., while Salem’s regularly scheduled Tuesday night game against Gainesville has been moved to Monday, Na. 13, at 5 p.m.