West Salem battled back from an 8-point first-half deficit on Thursday to beat North Salem 68-65 in the CVC boys basketball tournament semifinals at West Salem High School.
What could have turned into a typical trap game in the first half was turned around in the second partially by 16 points by the Titans’ Alex Roth.
West Salem came in on a 10-game winning streak, and Roth said the team wasn’t playing very hard in the first half, like their heads weren’t in the right place.
“We came in, we really weren’t ready to play,” Roth said. “We weren’t reacting quickly and weren’t very aggressive going after rebounds. I don’t want to say what coach told us at halftime, but needless to say we came out in the second half pretty motivated.”
Roth finished with a game-high 26 points. Seth Erickson added another 24 for West.
North Salem was led by Justin Lowe’s 22 points including a pair of 3-pointers. Malik Leaks had 12.
Santano Sausedo hit a 3-pointer in the fourth period to keep the Vikings close.
“That was a fun game,” Lowe said. “We knew we had a chance but they are a good team which was evident by the way they played in the second half.”
This was the third meeting of the two teams. West won the first game 61-57 and took the second game by a score of 62-59.
West Salem (22-2 overall) will play Sprague for the CVC tournament championship at 8 p.m. Tuesday at West Salem.
North Salem (5-17) at will play for McKay for third at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday also at West Salem High school.
“We are looking forward to McKay,” Lowe said. “We played two good games with them already, we won one and they won one. We are going to come out heated up and ready to play.”
The Titans haven’t lost since going down 70-66 to West Linn on Jan. 4. The Titans’ only other loss of the season was to West Albany, 63-53 on Dec. 14.
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