Lions put leash on Bulldogs, 79-54
January 11, 2012Winners Choice Sports
The Salem High School boys’ basketball team was clicking on all cylinders Friday night in a 79-54 win over visiting Orleans.
The Lions shot 65.1 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 31-16.
“I thought we stepped up and played very good, we played like a team against a solid bunch from Orleans,” he said. “We played like a senior laden team and a lot of guys stepped up. Everybody who played came in and played real well for us.”
Salem led 9-7 and then went on a spurt that put the Bulldogs on a leash for the rest of the game.
Ian Bowling scored two of his 26 points after his brother Zach gathered a steal and delivered a pass.
Zach hit one of two free throws and Ian scored four more points and the Lions were up by 11, 19-8.
Two more free throws each from Zach and Ian and the Lions lead was 23-12.
The twins scored one more basket each, putting the Lions up 15, 27-12 at the end of the first half.
The Bowling twins combined to hit 16 of 27 shots, paced by Ian’s 10 of 12 performance.
When the Bowling boys weren’t doing damage inside, Jalen Brown was knocking shots down from the perimeter.
Brown hit seven of eight shots including three of four from beyond the arc.
Weedin said he felt like Brown knocking down shots really helped to open things on the inside.
“Jalen stepped up and I’ve been proud of him all along,” Weedin said. “He has been playing solid. This is basically his first year of varsity so he has done well. He knocked down some threes when Orleans was in that zone. We kept moving the ball well and moving our bodies and Jalen knocked down some shots.”
Orleans kept Salem at arm’s length and were down just 14, 39-25.
A three and a two by Brown to start the third, stretched the advantage to 46-29.
Ian scored two more baskets, one of which came off a steal and an assist from Andy Nice and the rout was on again by 17, 48-31.
Orleans scored four quick points, two of which came on an intentional foul call against Nice.
Brown hit another shot to help the Lions regain momentum and the Ian and Zach scored two points each to get the margin back to 17, 54-37.
Above the exceptional shooting, the rebounding advantage and his team’s 17 assists, Weedin said he was most pleased with his team getting off to a fresh start and playing with a lead.
“One of our downfalls in the past has been our ability to play from ahead,” he said. “We will get a lead and the next thing you know it’s gone and we are in a battle. We’ve been stressing to the guys to start strong. We went back and looked at our score book and we lose the first quarter every time. That’s what I thought would happen tonight, but we didn’t. We got a lead and kept on attacking. It was fun to watch.”
Brown’s game and senior season are a welcome sight for the Salem program. Weedin admits that when a much shorter Brown was in middle school, he wasn’t sure he would ever see any varsity action.
Weedin said Brown’s solid work-ethic combined with a timely growth spurt has helped him become a key component to this year’s team.
“When (Jalen) was in middle school and as we looked to the future we weren’t sure where he would fit in,” Weedin said. “He had a growth spurt, which helped him a lot, but he really started to look like he was catching up at the end of last year. He was playing good in practice and was getting after it. I am tickled to death with what he is giving us to this point.”
Salem followed Friday’s win over Orleans with a 65-61 win Saturday at Crawford County.
The Lions have just one game this week and that will be Friday at home against Scottsburg.
They will follow that one with a Jan. 20 contest at Corydon Central and will host North Harrison the next night.