Salem Blue Devils Boys Basketball '19-'20

Wed, Mar 11, 2020 05:00 PM @ Bishop Guertin
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Salem 11 10 10 15 46
Bishop Guertin 8 8 10 18 44

Salem upsets BG, advances to quarters

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Wednesday, March, 11 By Jeff Hamrick

NASHUA – Salem went on the road for the first round of the New Hampshire playoffs feeling a lot more confident than a squad sitting a game above .500 and seeded 13th in a 15-team field.

That swagger, partly earned in last year’s playoff run to a championship-game loss, provided an early lead the senior-laden Blue Devils grasped to the end of a 46-44 victory over fourth-seeded Bishop Guertin. Salem (12-10) travels to fifth-seeded Keene, a 14-point winner over Windham in Saturday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal.

“We’d won three our last four games, and we’ve been playing well lately,” said senior point guard Trevor DeMinico, who directed an offense that committed only one turnover in each of the first three quarters. “We feel like we’re one of the better teams in the state, and now we’re going to go shock the world.”

While the world appears to have other matters of concern, the Blue Devils were more than ready for their road trip, needing a little more than two minutes to grab a lead they would maintain for all but a 57-second stretch late in the second period.

The advantage eventually grew to 12 with two minutes gone in the fourth, but Bishop Guertin (14-5) ate up all but one point of that deficit in a frantic 13-2 run that ended with Salem ahead 43-42 with 90 seconds left.

A couple of Alex Devir free throws with 1:28 left calmed the situation and provided the winning points.

“I just knew I had to make them for my team,” Devir said. “We’d gone that far, and we weren’t going to drop it now. We’ve been in those situations before. There wasn’t anything new to us, and we just had to keep rolling.”

The Cardinals, who scored 18 of their 44 points in the final 6:41, closed to within one on Samuel Mullett’s only bucket of the game with 50 seconds left.

Michael Ference, another Devil senior, made one of his two free throws with 6.9 seconds left, and when John Sullivan’s banked three from the top of the key clanked off the front of the rim, Salem was advancing for the second year in a row.

“I do like to think that experience (from a year ago) helps,” Salem coach Rob McLaughlin said. “Tevor and Michael played big minutes for us last year in that run. A lot of guys were there and saw that atmosphere … They know how to win in those environments. Having guys that have been through that help you down the stretch.”

Devir made all four of his free throws while scoring eight of his game-high 18 in the fourth quarter and added 10 rebounds. Adan Ayala finished with 10 points, including a pair of free throws that were Salem’s only points during the four-minute stretch Bishop Guertin rallied.

DeMinico scored all seven of his points in the opening half, but it was his eight assists and three steals that stood out.

“He does a great job,” McLaughlin said of DeMinico, who entered with a team-leading 12.9-point average. “Sometimes we take for granted what a good point guard can do. We know if we put the ball in his hands at the end, he’s going to typically make good decisions with it.”

Game Statistics:

Salem (46): John Bennett 0 0-0 0, Trevor DeMinico 3 0-1 7, Michael Ference 3 3-7 9, Adan Ayala 4 2-2 10, Alex Devir 7 4-4 18, Kaleb Bates 0 0-0 0, Tim Spampinato 0 2-2 2. Totals 17 11-16 46

Bishop Guertin (44): John Sullivan 3 0-0 7, Dylan Santosuosso 3 4-6 12, Mason Carroll 1 3-4 6, Samuel Mullet4t 1 2-4 4, Lucas Baker 2 0-0 4, Jordan Robichaud 2 0-1 4, Kyle Baker 3 1-1 7, Danny Dockrill 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 10-16 44

3-pointers: Salem — DeMinico; BG — Santosuosso, Sullivan, Carroll

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