SALEM - History repeated itself on Tuesday much to chagrin of the Salem Quakers who for the second time this season gave up a late lead and ultimately the game to the Marlington Dukes. Despite enjoying a 10-point lead in the fourth, the Quakers allowed Marlington to tie the game with 1:40 left, force overtime and come out on top of an eventual 64-61 final at the John C. Cabas Gymnasium.
"We've got to be able to withstand pressure," Salem coach Rich Hart said. "(Marlington) pressured us in the second half and we didn't handle it. We made poor decisions. We were leading by 10 in that last quarter, but couldn't finish it."
On Dec. 16, the Quakers and the Dukes faced off for the first time. In that game at Marlington, Salem led by eight in the fourth quarter and by four with two minutes remaining, but back-to-back turnovers and back-to-back missed shots allowed the Dukes to pull ahead 53-52 with 37 seconds on the clock. The Quakers had the chance to retake the lead or tie when they were sent to the line with four seconds showing but came up empty.
Sounds really familiar.
In Tuesday's game, Salem took two-consecutive bad shots, committed two-consecutive turnovers and missed five free throws with the game on the line.
"We tried to force too many things," Hart added. "We had those two-straight turnovers then we missed two-straight shots. Things like that can't happen. We missed foul shots in the fourth. That can't happen. We have to better than that."
Or play like they did in the first three quarters.
The Quakers jumped ahead 18-8 six minutes into the game and were up 21-8 at the end of the first quarter. Trent Kenreigh scored 10 of those points, dropping in two 3-pointers and two jumpers. Kenreigh would finish with two more 3-pointers and a Salem-high 20 points.
The Dukes won the second quarter 20-14 but Salem still went into the half with a 35-28 advantage.
At the end of the third, the Quakers led 52-42. Ryan Bush, who contributed 18 points total, came up with 10 points to lead Salem's third-quarter charge.
But Salem stalled in the fourth. After scoring 21, 14 and 17 points in the first, second and third quarters respectively, the Quakers registered just five in the fourth.
Meanwhile, the Dukes scored 15. Jesse Carpenter, who had 19 points on the night, dropped in back-to-back 3-pointers in the period. Lucas Strouble added five points, including a dunk, in the fourth.
Strouble would emerge as the star of the standoff. He scored a game-high 22 points, wowed the crowd with two slam dunks, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked five shots.
And it was Strouble who sealed the deal for the Dukes scoring six of Marlington's seven overtime points while Salem scored just four in the extra period.
Despite the loss, the Quakers out-rebounded the Dukes, 31-26. Anthony Shivers, who added seven points, led with seven boards. Max Wolfgang also scored seven points, pulled down six rebounds and finished with two block shots.
"I can't fault our effort tonight," Hart said. "We played hard and it is frustrating. We just made some poor decisions in the fourth."
The Quakers fell to 3-8 and play at Minerva on Friday.
MARLINGTON: 8 20 14 15 7 - 64
SALEM: 21 14 17 5 4 - 61
MARLINGTON SCORING: Micah Hall 1-0-2, Shawn Kirk 4-3-11, Alex Williamson 2-1-5, Lucas Strouble 8-6-22, Jesse Carpenter 6-4-19, Thomas Mason 1-1-3, Adam Penird 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 23, 12-21, 64.
SALEM SCORING: Ryan Bush 7-3-18, Trent Kenreigh 8-0-20, Zach Penick 1-0-2, Brendan Webb 1-0-2, Brayden Myers 1-0-2, Zach Economous 1-0-3, Max Wolfgang 2-3-7, Anthony Shivers 3-1-7. TEAM TOTALS: 24 6-13 61.
THREE POINTERS: Marlington 4 (Carpenter 4), Salem 6 (Kenreigh 4, Bush, Economous).