SALEM - One of these days, Salem is going to come out on top of a close game, but Friday just one wasn't that day. The Quakers dropped their sixth game of the season by a deficit of five points or less and their 10th overall with a 47-43 loss to Carrollton at the John C. Cabas Gymnasium.
The Quakers were not without their chances in their latest defeat. Down by two points and with 59 seconds remaining, Salem's Brendan Webb swiped the ball at mid-court, but the Quakers couldn't convert the turnover. Salem would get another chance when the Quakers forced the Warriors to throw away an inbound attempt. But again, the Quakers failed to capitalize.
"We get that big steal and we had three shots at it, but we couldn't get it to go in," Salem coach Rich Hart said. "That's been the story all year. When we have a chance to tie the game or to go ahead, we miss the easy shot. We just missed too many shots all the way through."
The Quakers led at times in the first half, leading the Warriors 11-10 after one complete quarter and stood on even ground (17-17) late in the second. Carrollton was able to get a couple buckets before the break to lead 25-20 at the half. Salem won the third by same the margin as the first (11-10) to trail 35-31at the start of the fourth.
The Quakers knotted things up in the late third (41-41) when Ryan Bush, who scored 31 points on Tuesday at Liberty, registered his 18th point of the game, 10th of the fourth quarter and final of the game.
With 1:25 to be played, Carrollton had recaptured a four-point advantage, but 20 seconds later the Quakers pulled with in two of the Warriors when Trent Kenreigh made good on two foul shots.
Webb's steal immediately followed Kenreigh's free throws, but after a quick push, a Salem jumper bounced off the rim. Salem pulled down the offensive rebound and the offensive rebound after that, but still came up empty on the possession. Carrollton's resident big man Stephen Erikson, who proved too much for the Quakers all night with 18 points and a game-high 13 boards, ended up with the next rebound, and the Warriors quickly called a timeout to set up what likely would have been the deal-sealing bucket.
But that bucket would have to wait. After the timeout, Salem pressured the Warriors into the turnover on the inbound and the Quakers had another chance. Kenreigh found Bush under the basket, but Bush's shot wouldn't go in. Erikson was there for the rebound and was fouled.
As the last seconds ticked away, the Quakers were forced to foul Andrew Collins, sending him to the line for a 1-and-1. Collins - a 10-point scorer for Carrollton - hit both and the deal was sealed with just 0:03 showing on the clock.
"We had too many opportunities that we didn't take, too many good looks we didn't cash in on and we have to score more than 44 points," Hart said. "It's frustrating, but we have to break out of it soon."
Salem, who defeated the Warriors 62-58 earlier in the season at Carrollton, fell to 2-9 in the NBC. The Quakers next play Canton South - Salem's other conference win - Tuesday on the road. Salem plays at still-unbeaten on Friday.
CARROLLTON: 10 15 10 12 -47
SALEM 11 9 11 12 - 43
CARROLLTON SCORING: Luke Hartong 3-0-7, Adam Walker 1-0-3, Caleb Hartong 3-0-6, Zach Deitz 1-0-3, Andrew Collin 3-2-10, Stephen Erikson 5-8-18. TEAM TOTALS: 14, 10-19, 47.
SALEM SCORING: Ryan Bush 8-2-3, Trent Kenreigh 3-2-8, Brendan Webb 2-0-6, Brayden Myers 1-0-2, Max Wolfgang 1-1-3, Anthony Shivers 3-0-6. TEAM TOTALS: 18, 5-8, 43.
THREE POINTERS: Carrollton 4 (L. Hartong, Walker, Collins 2), Salem 2 (Webb).