Coming into Tuesday’s game against Clarke Central, the Salem girl’s basketball team had been on a winning streak built with a combination of balanced scoring from its top three players and solid defense. That trend continued against the visitors from Athens.
Shay Tarver, Ayanna Mitchell and Taylor King combined for 46 points and the Seminoles forced 22 turnovers in their fourth consecutive victory, 58-39.
Clarke Central got as close as six points, cutting Salem’s lead to 33-27 with 6:25 left in the third on a jumper by Addie McNeely.
It was all Salem from that point. The Seminoles’ built a double-digit lead at 38-27 when Jennifer Tindi grabbed an offensive rebound and fed King for a 3-pointer. That got Salem started on a 10-1 run, and the Seminoles led by as much as 21 points.
Salem scored the last nine points of the opening half to turn a tie game into a 31-22 cushion at the break. Field goals by Mitchell, who had 16 points and 15 rebounds, started and ended the spurt. Tarver had a put back of her own miss for two of her nine first-half points and Tarver assisted on a lay up by Tindi.
Before that, it was a back-and-forth game with Clarke taking its largest lead of the night at three points on a put back by Jasmin Bell (team-high 17 points) with just over one minute to play in the opening quarter.
Salem went on a 10-2 run that included eight points from Mitchell and Tarver and went up 20-15.
Bell had a lay up and knocked down a 3-pointer, and Markia Lester added a pair of buckets to help pull the Gladiators even at 22-22 with 3:35 left until halftime.
The Salem and Clarke Central boy’s teams played in the nightcap, which ended too late for this edition.