It probably won't be their final home game, but it was the final regular season home game ever for many of the Salem seniors. Both teams got big wins on the night with special performances from their seniors.
The Lady Noles (16-8, 8-4 Region 8-AAAAA) kicked off the night against the Loganville Lady Red Devils (17-6, 9-3 Region 8-AAAAA) and got a much needed region win. It was a low-scoring affair, as both defenses played well all night.
The Lady ‘Noles couldn't get their offense going in the first period and trailed 12-4 heading into the second quarter. Salem's defense came to play in the second period and the team used it to get back in the game, forcing turnovers and getting out in transition. The Lady ‘Noles tied the game at 12 at the six-minute mark, but entered halftime down one (19-18).
Senior Rosie Kyles was huge on the night, despite scoring just four points, Kyles made a significant impact by playing great on-ball defense. Shay Tarver was held in check most of the night with the Lady Red Devils zeroing in on the stellar guard, shadowing her and double teaming her all night.
Senior forward Ayanna Mitchell was forced to carry the load and carry it she did. Mitchell led Salem with 19 points, with 13 of them coming in the second half.
A bucket from Mitchell tied the game at the end of the third. She was big in the fourth lifting Salem to a 35-32 lead with 12 seconds left. Kyles played excellent defense on the other end and iced the game at the line to give Salem a 37-32 win.
The senior night celebrations took place between the boys and girls games.
The boys (10-13, 5-7 Region 8-AAAAA) fed off of the festivities and it was dunk city as senior Austin Samuel (29 points) started off the game with a transition dunk after forcing a Loganville (3-20, 1-11 Region 8-AAAAA) turnover.
The biggest and best dunk of the night came when senior Kanome McIntosh threw a lob to junior Chandler Davis that got a big roar from the crowd. Samuel threw down yet another dunk in the second quarter off of a lob from senior Jarrett Cook to extend Salem's lead to 26-12.
However, a lot of fouls were called on Salem throughout the game and especially in the first half. Salem bailed Loganville out with fouls and they got back into the game, as the ‘Noles led 30-24 at halftime. 16 fouls were called on Salem in the first half, compared to five on Loganville. The Red Devils made just four field goals by halftime.
The second half saw Salem settle down and extend its lead to 52-39 after three quarters. The ‘Noles didn't look back and they ran off with a 72-57 victory.