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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Aggressive Defense Uplifts Salamanca in League Opener

On their homecourt last night, Salamanca picked up a huge league win over Fredonia by a final score of 92-60.

Before tip off got underway Salamanca’s head coach Adam Bennett knew how much of a challenge it was going to be. Fredonia senior Nick Whitfield (17.2 ppg) and junior Ethan Fry (16.3 ppg) came into this game as their top two scorers while also showing a display of unselfish basketball and a good rebounding team.

The first quarter was a close battle as anticipated, both squads played a bit sloppy at first from the turnovers they committed, but still put points on the board. The Warriors found shots beyond the arc while Fredonia battled for buckets in the paint.

Once the second quarter got going Salamanca came out strong on defense and it set the tone the rest of the way.

They displayed a hard-nosed, suffocating full-court press and half-court trap. It was unstoppable as Fredonia couldn’t find an answer to beat it. Salamanca finished the night with 24 steals.

“Were a defense that thrives on aggression and trying to create turnovers. That’s a very good basketball team their very well coached,” said Adam Bennett. “When your trapping teams like that and your aggressive against teams like that, that can bite you but I thought our kids were smart about it. I thought they did a good job off the ball, being in the right spots, staying active and it allowed us to get some easy ones in the second quarter and thankfully build a lead.”

Bennett’s team outscored them 33-13 in the second quarter due to their defense and points off turnovers. They kept the intensity going in the second half and never looked back.

Junior Andy Herrick led the Warriors with 23 points and tallied four rebounds. Sophomore Lucas Brown dropped in 20 points and dished out six assists while senior RJ McLarney put up 19 points and four rebounds.

Offensively Salamanca shot the ball very well from three-point land. They finished with 13 team three-pointers, shooting 46 percent from deep. McLarney splashed in four while Herrick and Brown each had three.

“We talk about taking inside-out threes. We think were a really good shooting team when their inside out threes, when were able to attack off the bounce or get the ball inside or drive baseline and kick out,” said Bennett.

For Fredonia, Nick Whitfield led the way with 21 points while his teammate and senior Nick Creeley had 20.

Salamanca moves to 6-1 on the season, 1-0 in CCAA West 1 and extends their winning streak now to six games. Their last lost came against Bishop Timon on Dec. 15. League play continues next for them as they’ll play at Southwestern Monday night at 7:30 p.m.

Fredonia goes to 4-2 overall and 0-1 in league play. Their next game will be another league matchup Monday night, facing Olean at 7:30 p.m.

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