By Pat Mashburn
There was no need for the Salmen Coach Jay Carlin to check the pulse of his team to realize they were alive after a less than spectacular beginning.
The Spartans responded with purpose in a 60-45 rout of Slidell on Thursday after having trailed by five points in the early going.
"We were getting some good looks at the basketball," Carlan said. "Our shots just weren't falling."
The Spartans(6-4) then picked up the pace against Slidell (5-4), hitting 74 percent from the field after shooting 40 percent in the first quarter.
T.J. Price paced Salmen with 21 points. Teammate Khari Price scored 12 points, and Jamal Robinson added 10.
Nicolas Abrams and Tevin Parker each scored 11 for Slidell.
"We didn't do a good job," said Slidell Coach Dale Chimento, who placed the team's performance on himself and his staff. "We have to prepare better."
The third and fourth quaters were a reversal of fortunes for Slidell. It was held to one field goal in 11 minutes, and Salmen went on a 18-2 run for a 59-41 margin.
The Tigers' Tevin Parker kept the momentum going with a three-point play to open the second half. Thomas Jones put Salmen ahead for the first time at 33-32 with four minutes in the third quarter, as the Spartans scored the next 14 points for a 41-32 advantage.
It was hard to find fault with the Tigers' effort in the first half, as they hit 57 percent of their shots. Their defense held Salmen scoreless for just over three minutes, opening a 9-4 lead. However, a 3-pointer by Khari Price with two minutes remaining in the first quarter cut Slidell's lead to 9-7.
After trading 3-pointers to begin the second quarter, Slidell scored eight consecutive points for a 26-15 margin -- the largest of the first half. Price scored the Spartans' last 11 points to chip away at Slidell's lead and cut the deficit to 29-26.
"We just got some kids back from football, and there not yet in basketball shape," Carlin said. "But this was a good indication they were ahead of the game. I was proud of the way we pulled ourselves together."
Courtesy of the Times Picayune