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The Bruins closed the gap of a 29-15 first-half deficit but couldn’t dig all the way out.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Salem's Matt Hill (14) grabs a loose ball from Blacksburg's Alex Shimozono in Region IV Division 4 boys semifinal action Wednesday at Christiansburg High School.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Gravson Shelton (4) and his Blacksburg teammates react to their 62-45 loss to Salem in the Region IV Division 4 semifinals Wednesday.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
CHRISTIANSBURG — For the second straight game Blacksburg found itself facing a sizable first-half deficit, but this time the Bruins weren’t quite able to overcome it.
Salem jumped out to a 29-15 halftime lead and then held on in the second half to defeat Blacksburg 62-45 in the Region IV Division 4 semifinals Wednesday night at Christiansburg High School.
After Blacksburg jumped out to an early 6-4 lead, the Spartans went on a 15-2 run to take control. The Bruins only points during this stretch came on two three throws after Salem’s Matt Hill was given a technical foul for hanging onto the rim too long after a dunk.
“We were getting stops on the defensive end, but I thought we were a little stagnant on offense,” Salem head coach Kevin Garst said. “We were able to get a couple of baskets in transition.”
The technical was the only glitch on the night for Hill, who led the Spartans (19-7) with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Troy Mann also scored 19 for Salem.
Just two nights earlier the Bruins found themselves down by 12 in the first half to Bassett, but rallied to advance. The slow start burned Blacksburg on this night, though, as it only had two 3-point field goals for offense in the first quarter.
“We got the shots we normally make,” Blacksburg head coach Doug Day said. “For whatever reason we couldn’t knock them down tonight. You got to give Salem’s defense credit.”
Blacksburg (13-13) did fight back in the second half to tighten it up. Trailing 41-22 late in the third quarter, the Bruins went on a 14-3 run that was capped by a Michael Ayares jumper with 4:58 left to cut the deficit to eight at 44-36.
After a timeout, however, Mann knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to put the game out of reach.
“Coach just calmed us down [in the timeout],” said Hill. “We were breaking their press. We were just missing easy shots.”
Day said that the rally was typical for his squad this season.
“We’ve been a very resilient group all year long,” he said. “I knew we had a run in us. It just depended when it would be. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Blacksburg was led in scoring by Eric James with 10 points.
There is little time for rest for the Spartans as they will play in the regional final Friday night in Carroll County.
“It’s certainly a quick turnaround,” Garst said. “We’ll just come back to practice tomorrow and prepare.”
Bohrnstedt 2 2-2 8, Shimozono 3 0-0 8, Shelton 2 0-4 5, Ayares 3 0-0 6, James 4 2-3 10, Green 1 1-2 3, Hale 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 5-13 45.
Wright 2 2-4 6, Mann 6 5-6 19, Hill 7 5-6 19, Repass 1 2-2 5, Joyce 2 0-0 4, McDaniel 3 1-2 7, Pratt 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 17-22 62.
Blacksburg 6 9 13 17 — 45
Salem 10 19 12 21 — 62
3-point goals Blacksburg 6 (Bohrnstedt 2, Shimozono 2, Shelton, Hale), Salem 3 (Mann 2, Repass). Total fouls Blacksburg 16, Salem 10. Fouled out – none.
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