Eagles soar past Quakers, 34-29

SALEM-The Salem girls basketball team had one of those nights all teams dread. No matter how good a look they got, the Quakers could not get any shots to fall Tuesday against Youngstown Christian. Inside or outside, nothing was working.

Salem fell behind by 11 after the first quarter and never got closer than five the rest of the night, falling to the Eagles, 34-29. Salem drops to 1-5 overall while Youngstown Christian improves to 3-3.

“Obviously we’re having trouble putting the ball in the hoop right now,” Salem coach Steve Stewart said. “We missed too many easy shots tonight. It’s been our biggest struggle so far this year.”

The Eagles used a scrambling defense and bothered the Quakers with their length and athleticism. Salem was ice cold from beginning to end, shooting 19 percent overall and 1-17 from three-point range. Olivia Stiff led the Quakers with seven points, while Tori Jones chipped in six points. Only three Salem players made more than two field goals.

“Their defense was pretty quick,” Jones said. “They were able to get into the lane and intercept a lot of our passes. We need to move the ball around a little more be more patient and focus on our shots.”

“On defense our main goal is to utilize and unleash our athleticism by moving around a lot,” Youngstown Christian coach Bill Hoelzel said. “To do that requires great communication and we had that tonight.”

“They certainly have some athletic ability,” Salem coach Steve Stewart said. “For us it’s a matter of finishing off our shots. We are getting the looks we want, the offense is executing, but we need to start finishing.”

The Eagles had their shooting touch in the first quarter as they raced out to a 19-8 lead. Forward Daria Shavers led the way with 12 points and four rebounds. Daisjha Parks had eight points and six rebounds. In addition to her scoring, Shavers also played an active game on defense, defending both the post and the perimeter.

“Daria played a very good game,” Hoelzel said. “She has stepped up and been selfless for us this year, she has been willing to take on anything we ask.”

The Quakers put the clamps down on defense the rest of the game, but due to their cold shooting were never able to take advantage.

“We did a pretty good job on defense,” Stewart said. “We got a lot of steals in the third quarter. We need to start converting some of those turnovers into points.”

Stewart is in his first season back on the sidelines after winning 110 games between 2000-06. He recognizes that the Quakers are in the early stage of a rebuilding process after three straight losing seasons. He shuttled a bunch of players in and out of the lineup, trying to find some workable combinations.

“Right now we are trying to figure out who plays together well, who can be consistent together and who can mesh.” Jones said.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Stewart said. “We are focused right now on trying to be competitive in games and build our work ethic. We need to keep trying to finish our shots.”

YO. CHRISTIAN: 19-4-7-4-34

SALEM: 8-5-6-10-29

YOUNGSTOWN CHRISTIAN SCORING: Daria Shavers 6-0-12, Daisjha Parks 3-2-8, Paris Yanno 1-0-3, Destinee Snyder 2-0-5, Kayla Rios 3-0-6, Iliana Suarez 0-0-0, Natalie Mahdee 0-0-0, India McDowell 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 15, 2-4: 34.

SALEM SCORING: Rylee Leider 1-0-3, Rylee Meals 1-0-2, Tori Jones 2-2-6, Megan Lehwald 0-0-0, Raegan Meals 1-0-2, Julia Dundon 2-0-4, Haley Carner 0-0-0, Olivia Stiff 3-1-7, Chloe Cheresne 1-2-4, Leah Menegos 0-1-1, Kendra Richardson 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 11-57, 6-11: 29

Three-point goals: Youngstown Christian 2 (Yanno, Snyder), Salem 1-17 (Leider).