ATLANTA -- Trailing Druid Hills by 14 points at halftime, The Salem boys basketball team did enough to force overtime before walking off with a thrilling 61-54 victory Tuesday night in their first Region 4-AAAA game of the season.
The Seminoles (4-3, 1-0) out-scored the Red Devils 17-5 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to one before forcing overtime with the game knotted at 50-all. Salem out-scored Druid Hills 11-4 in overtime to earn the hard fought victory.
Jeremiah Venson paced the Seminoles with a season-high 24 points. The senior scored 22 of his 24 in the second half, including five in overtime. Junior forward Emanuel Milon chipped in with 11 points and five rebounds while senior Xaiver Eutsey scored eight.
Salem was out-scored 15-7 in the first quarter and 18-12 in the second to dig an early hole on the road. First-year head coach Inglis Hunter, while happy with the win, said his team needs to find a way to start games faster.
“We have to be hungry from the time we get on the bus to the time we leave the gym,” Hunter said. “I’m not sure what’s the problem with us starting out so flat at the beginning of games, but we as staff have to figure out what’s the spark for our team to come out playing like dogs.”
The Seminoles only turned the ball over five times on the night, one big positive Hunter pointed out after the win. WIth the win, the Seminoles improve to 1-0 in region play and will gear up for another road battle with Hampton Friday night.