On Tuesday, December 11, the Salt River High School boys varsity basketball team came back in the second half of their home game to surpass their opponent, the Superior Panthers.
The first quarter saw an equally slow start for both teams in terms of field goals, each team was only able to put 11 points on the board. In the second quarter, the Panthers took advantage of turnovers and poor rebounding pulling away from the Eagles by a score 23-27 to end the half.
The second half of the game saw a turnaround by the Eagles. Coming out of the locker room to warm up the Eagles started to look more focused. It didn’t take long to notice the explosive changes capitalizing on turnovers by the Panthers, hustling to the ball and great ball movement were all contributing factors that gave the Eagles their first lead of the night in the middle of the third quarter.
Showing signs of the fight still left in them, the Eagles entered the fourth quarter on top of the Panthers, 46-42. Superior was still scratching their heads and making fundamental mistakes on rebounding, passing and overall ball control. With only a minute left in the game, the Eagles sustained the lead they captured earlier, holding off the Panthers with a final score of 57-52.
After the game, Assistant Coach Felix Munoz said, “The boys were very disappointed in their performances in the first half. They took that frustration and anger and turned it into motivation.”
It showed. In the second half, the Eagles’ field-goal percentage increased from 45 percent to 50 percent. No. 21, Daniel Lopez capitalized on opportunities, and had a great second half, accounting for 14 points, 9 nine rebounds, two steals and one block. No. 55, Eugene Lewis had a big first half, scoring 9 points. No. 35 John Hill led the team in assists, with five.
The men’s junior varsity (JV) Eagles team played earlier that evening, trailing in most of their game. Unable to find the same spark as the men’s varsity team, they lost to the Superior Panthers JV team with a final score of 43-48.
Both men’s teams and the women’s JV team played Phoenix Country Day on December 14 at home. Read about that game in the next issue of Au-Authm Action News.