ALLIANCE - The Salem Quakers' Tuesday night matchup at Marlington was the worst recipe for a perfect storm: a visiting team coming off of an emotional win and into a hostile environment in a difficult gymnasium to play in.
The result, a disappointing 70-41 loss to the Dukes that put Salem (12-3, 7-2) back into a tie for first place in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference with the Canton South Wildcats.
"They just kicked our butts, that's basically it," Salem head coach Rich Hart said. "We couldn't make a shot. It was unbelievable, we had to be 1-for-15 from three."
The Quakers, typically able to rely upon a more productive effort from beyond the arc managed just one for the game- it was the only basket made from three-point land by either team.
"They (Marlington) played good defense, but we still had the shots we had been getting all year, we just didn't make them," Hart said.
Marlington struck quickly with a pair of baskets early that proved to be the difference as the first quarter ended. Thomas Mason and Dan Krupko each got the Dukes out to an early 4-0 lead but Salem wouldn't let Marlington get too far ahead.
Krupko finished with 11 points for the Dukes and Thomas Mason added 15.
Poor shooting, both from the free throw line and from the field plagued the Quakers early on. Salem missed multiple looks around the rim and from midrange and could not connect. The Quakers also missed five free throws in the first quarter alone.
"It was a hostile environment, but it's no different than them coming to our place. You have to be able to handle those things," Hart said. "They were the better team tonight and we have to get better for Friday."
Marlington used an 8-2 run during the span of just over a minute in the second quarter to open up a double-digit lead and force Salem coach Rich Hart to call a timeout with his team down 30-18.
While the Quakers continued to miss in the second quarter, the Dukes did not. Salem failed to connect on a single three-pointer as the first half wore and missed a total of 16 shots in the first half.
Defensively, the Quakers struggled to contain Lucas Strouble, particularly in the first half. Strouble poured in 14 of his 18 points in the first 16 minutes.
"He's a super player that's all you can really say about him all you can do is try to control him by limiting his touches," Hart said. "If we had made some shots everything else can kind of take care of itself."
Marlington opened the second half spreading the floor and using the clock to try burn up as much time while looking for a quality shot. It didn't work as well as the Dukes had hoped, as the Quakers used an 8-4 run to pull within seven and force coach Nick Evanich to burn a timeout.
"Yeah we had a couple things that we were going to do, but you know, what we cut their lead and we had a chance," Hart said. "All we needed was one more bucket and we have a ballgame. It could've been less if we hit some free throws."
The quick spurt from Salem was all they could muster, as the Dukes regrouped and came back with a 13-3 run to close out the third and put Salem in a deep hole as they entered the final frame.
All you can do is try to play hard and chip away," Hart said. "We wanted to try and run and jump a little bit and force some turnovers, that's all you can try to do. It's not like we didn't have our chances, Marlington played a super game, and they played well."
To add to it, with 1:05 left In the third quarter, Max Wolfgang was sent to the bench with his fourth foul, a charge, and the Quakers were forced to make due without one half of its' talented big-man combo.
"It seemed like every time he did something well, he got called for a foul," Hart said. "So that left him limited, but that's the way the ball bounces we have to regroup and we take care of our business."
Wolfgang finished with just two points on the loss, while Anthony Shivers and Ryan Bush each netted 12. Austin Frank also added eight points for the Quakers.
Salem's poor shooting in the first half translated directly into the second.
The Quakers continued to miss free throws and field goals, with each one becoming more critical as time began to become their biggest enemy.
"The way we were shooting you can also go with the theory of your starting to bomb some threes," Hart said. " But we also hadn't made any threes to that point."
As time wore on, Marlington's lead continued to balloon, and Salem had no answer on the Dukes home floor.
"I think it (the gym) plays more into your head," Hart said. "It is dark and dreary in here, but Carollton is the same way and we've gone there and won."
In all, the Quakers missed a total of 13 free throws, and went just 10-for-23 for the game. "We have to take care of our business and not have anymore flubs like this because Marlington is going to keep beating people too," Hart said. "We're still in first place that's a positive we can take out of this and how we can look at it right now."
Marlington also won the jayvee game 81-51. Ryan Hoover and Mike Popa paced the Quakers with 19 and 15 points, respectively. D.J. Pullie added seven points for the Quakers.
SALEM 7 13 12 9 - 41
MARLINGTON 9 23 17 21 - 70
SALEM SCORING: Ryan Bush 5-1-12, Austin Frank 3-2-8, Mike Madison 0-1-1, Zack Wukotich 0-1-1, Brendan Webb 1-2-4, Zach Economous 0-1-1, Max Wolfgang 1-0-2, Anthony Shivers 5-2-12.
TEAM TOTALS: 15, 10-23, 41
MARLINGTON SCORING: Marcus Devies 1-0-2, Micah Hall 2-0-4, Shawn Kirk 3-0-6, Dan Krupko 5-1-11, Chris Andrews 3-0-6, Lucas Strouble 6-6-18, Dylan Simmons1-2-4, Thomas Mason 6-3-15, Adam Penird 2-0-4.
TEAM TOTALS: 30, 12-20, 70
THREE POINTERS: Salem 1 (Bush) Marlington 0.
Heartland beats Bears
COLUMBIANA - Heartland Christian rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half for a 55-54 win over Leetonia on Tuesday.
Glen Hoffman scored 18 of his game-high 26 points to power the Lions, who improve to 13-2 on the season.
Leetonia took a 31-21 lead at halftime and widened the margin to 13 points in the third quarter. Hoffman helped the Lions pull within 43-39 after three quarters and take a 55-51 lead before the Bears hit a three-pointer as the final buzzer sounded.
Jared Robinson contributed nine points and seven rebounds to the winning effort. Brandon Crawford grabbed 12 rebounds and Kyle Burgess dished out six assists.
Leetonia drops to 7-8.
The Bears were led by Ian Sevenich with 17 points and Trent Ferry added 10.
There was no junior varsity game.
Both teams will play Friday with Heartland hosting American Spirit Academy and Leetonia visiting Southern Local.
LEETONIA: 14 17 12 11-54
HEARTLAND: 13 8 18 16- 55
LEETONIA SCORING: Luke Janci 0-1-1, Cody Valentine 2-2-6, James Shea 2-0-4, Trent Ferry 4-2-10, Ian Sevenich 7-0-17, Zack Van Giesen 1-0-2, Josh Faulkner 3-0-6, Ian Stecker 4-0-8. TEAM TOTALS: 23, 5-8, 54.
HEARTLAND SCORING: Matt Baker 1-0-2, Kyle Burgess 2-0-4, Brandon Crawford 1-2-4, Jared Robinson 2-4-9, Caleb House 4-2-10, Glen Hoffman 7-9-26. TEAM TOTALS: 17, 17-25, 55.
THREE POINTERS: Leetonia 3 (Sevenich 3), Heartland 4 (Hoffman 3, Robinson).
EAST PALESTINE- East Palestine overcame a slow first quarter to defeat Columbiana 51-50 Tuesday night.
Austen Reiser led the Bulldogs with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Nate Keylor added 17 points for the Bulldogs. Jake DeJong led the Clippers with 26 points.
Columbiana won the junior varsity contest 37-30 behind Dylan Ferraro's 14 points. Ryen Kemp and Grant Wagner led the Bulldogs with eight points each.
East Palestine (6-7, 5-4) hosts Crestview on Friday. Columbiana (3-11, 3-6) plays at Wellsville Friday.
COLUMBIANA: 11 10 12 17- 50
EAST PALESTINE: 5 20 14 12- 51
COLUMBIANA SCORING: Bryce Franken 1-0-3, Kyle Bryan 3-2-9, Devin Rice 1-0-2, Joe Munyon 2-0-5, Jake DeJong 10-4-26, Austin Miner 1-0-2, Nathan Garofalo 1-0-3. TEAM TOTALS: 19, 6-10, 50.
EAST PALESTINE SCORING: Nick Monteleone 0-1-1, Nate Keylor 4-5-17, Austen Reiser 5-7-17, Billy Bibby 3-2-9, Steve Parker 2-3-7, Zach May-Robb 0-0-0, Alec Dumbauld 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 14, 18-32, 51.
THREE POINTERS: Columbiana 6 (DeJong 2, Miner, Garofalo, Bryan, Franken), East Palestine 5 (Keylor 4, Bibby).
CANFIELD- The South Range boys basketball game scheduled for Tuesday night was postponed. The Raiders will host McDonald at 7:30 p.m. tonight with the junior varsity at 6 p.m.
WELLSVILLE- The Beaver Local girls basketball team defeated Wellsville 40-29 Tuesday night.
Sierra Wright led the Lady Beavers with eight points. Sam Bishop and Maranda Kiddey added seven points each. Brittany Clendenning led the Lady Tigers with nine points. Amanda Coles and Sabrina Thompson led the rebounding with six each.
Wellsville won the junior varsity game 36-25 behind Ashley Bennett's 15 points.
Beaver Local (3-14) hosts Struthers on Thursday. Wellsville (7-9) hosts Columbiana on Thursday.