The Salem Lady Tigers opened SCA conference play with a home game against the 7-3 Willow Springs Lady Bears on Monday night, Jan. 6. Willow Springs jumped on Salem quickly in the first quarter, leading 5-0 and 11-4, but the Lady Tigers would cut the lead to 13-10 after one. Salem would take the lead in the second quarter and never trailed again en route to a 59-53 victory.
Salem looked to be on the verge of a long night early in the first quarter, as Willow Springs dominated the early play. The Lady Tigers began to get their feet under them as the quarter went on and their defense started bothering the Lady Bears. By the end of the first quarter Salem had cut a seven-point deficit down to three, trailing 13-10. Savannah Manthey picked up five points in the opening quarter to lead Salem, Bella Jadwin scored three points, and Ashton Bowers scored two points. Salem's best quarter of the night came in the second, as they outscored WIllow Springs 15-9 to lead 25-22 at halftime. Bowers scored six points in the quarter, Jana Cook scored four, Tatum Hatridge added three, and Jadwin chipped in two more points.
The third quarter was the highest scoring of the night for both teams, as Salem took the third 20-19 to lead 45-41 going into the fourth. Hatridge led Salem's attack in the third with seven points, Bowers scored four points, Manthey added three points, and Jadwin, Cook, and Shelby Botkin all scored two apiece. The game would remain close in the fourth quarter, but a 14-12 effort by the Lady Tigers was enough to secure a 59-53 win to begin SCA play. Jadwin and Bowers each scored four in the fourth, Manthey scored three, Hatridge scored two, and Cook added one point.
The win improves Salem's record to 9-4 on the season and 1-0 in the SCA. The Lady Tigers will be in action Thursday, Jan. 9 as they travel to St. Elizabeth. Salem’s next home game will be Monday, January 13th, against the defending Class 2 state champion Thayer Lady Bobcats in another big SCA contest.
Ashton Bowers- 17 pts, 5 rebs
Tatum Hatridge- 12 pts
Savannah Manthey- 11 pts, 6 rebs
Bella Jadwin- 11 pts, 4 rebs, 4 assists, 4 steals
Jana Cook- 6 pts, 4 rebs
Shelby Botkin- 2 pts
Madison Woolf- 9 rebs, 5 blocks