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Salem handles Heritage for 17th straight win

Heritage holds off Salem in nightcap

CONYERS - The last time the girls basketball teams from Heritage and Salem got together, Ayanna Mitchell and the Seminoles reached triple-digits in scoring and secured an 82-point victory over its rivals.

Saturday didn’t provide quite that level of dominance, but Salem still did just fine.

Four players had at least nine points as the Seminoles won their 17th consecutive game and stayed unbeaten in league play with a 54-25 win.

Mitchell, an unsigned junior, scored a program-record 46 points in the 112-30 blowout in December. She had a more pedestrian 10 points to go along with 14 rebounds Saturday. Taylor King led the way with 14 points, Jennifer Tindi added 10 points and Shay Tarver, nine for Salem (19-2, 14-0).

Host Heritage (1-21, 1-12), which lost its sixth consecutive game, got as close as 30-13 early in the third quarter on a short jumper by Damali Thomas.

Each team got off to a sluggish start and had just two combined field goals through the 4 1/2 minutes of the game.

Salem got going after that, scoring eight straight points and taking an 11-2 lead on a lay up by Tindi with two minutes to play in the opening quarter.

Heritage went nearly six minutes without a point, which led Salem build a double-digit lead it kept for the remainder of the day.

Tindi had a bucket at the start and finish of a 12-0 Seminoles’ run that made it a 25-6 game at the 3:41 mark of the second quarter. BreAllen McIver and Alexis Hawkins combined to go 3 of 4 from the free-throw line to help end the Patriots’ drought and make it a 25-9 game with 2:19 to play until halftime.

In the opening half, the Salem defense had nine steals and forced 15 turnovers to go into the locker room up 30-11.

Heritage’s second scoring drought started midway through the third as the Patriots went 4:40 without scoring and the last of King’s four 3-pointers extended Salem’s cushion to 46-17.

Destiny Martin scored eight points and McIver added seven points and 12 rebounds to lead the Patriots.

Heritage had three in double figures in a 62-55 victory in the nightcap.

Salem guard Kristopher Bridgeman, who scored a game-high 16 points, hit two threes and Kaome McIntosh knocked down a jumper to pull Salem to within 50-45 with 5:47 to go in the game.

The host Patriots (17-5, 10-3 Region 8-AAAAA) responded as four different players hit baskets during an 8-1 run that made it a 58-46 game with 2:24 to go.

Later, Robert Baker (11 points) and Quintavius Byrd each hit a 3-pointer, though Byrd’s foot appeared to be on the three-point line when he released the shot, and the Seminoles got as close as 61-55 with 20 seconds to play.

Rashad Jones scored eight of his team-high 13 points within the first 2 1/2 minutes of the third quarter, helping Heritage build a 42-29 lead. The cushion grew to 50-37 on Trevor Campbell’s feld goal at the 7:20 mark of the fourth.

Heritage was red hot from the perimeter in the early going. Campbell and Jordan Thomas (12 points) each had two of the Patriots’ five first quarter 3-pointers as the hosts built a 21-10 cushion after one.

The visiting Seminoles had a scoreless spell of 4:56, though found themselves down just 28-19 after consecutive baskets from Byrd and McIntosh, the last of which came off a steal at the 2:35 mark of the second quarter.

Thomas polished off a 10-point opening half with two buckets late, the last giving the Patriots a 32-21 lead with a minute to play.