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Falcons suffer first loss

Salisbury started the summer basketball season with five straight wins. And last Tuesday’s game looked as if win No. 6 was well on the way, especially early in the game.

But a number of old habits surfaced late in the second half against one of the Colonial League’s top teams. Notre Dame (Green Pond) erased a 12-point Salisbury lead in the first half to down the Falcons, 50-46, last week at Cedar Beach.

“Just way too many turnovers,” Salisbury head coach Jason Weaver said. “It’s the same thing. There’s pressure and lack of ball movement and some forced shots.”

Quintin Stephens scored seven points in the first half as the Falcons opened a double-digit lead at 22-10. The Falcons’ first unit, led by Stephens and point guard Patrick Foley, was consistent for much of the first half.

Notre Dame, however, made a run just before intermission. The Crusaders got within seven points at halftime, and then opened the second half with a 9-0 spurt to retake the lead at 27-25.

“We did a good job rebounding [in the first half],” Weaver said. “We played a lot of guys. I subbed a lot of guys in, and that’s part of it, too. I’m playing more guys than I normally would. We had a big lead and we let them back in it by the end of the first half. Guys that are coming off the bench have an opportunity to prove themselves.”

A steal and layup from Stephens a few minutes later put the Falcons back in front 33-29, their largest lead of the second half, but it would be short-lived.

With Note Dame clinging to a one-point lead, a rebound and put back from the Crusaders pushed their lead to 44-41 in the final moments. Salisbury was called for a charge on the next possession, and Brendan Boyle sank two free throws for a 46-41 lead. The Falcons committed another turnover when they failed to get the ball across the time line in 10 seconds.

Stephens and Foley would hit two big shots in the final seconds to get Salisbury within 48-46, but it was a little too late.

Boyle scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the Crusader comeback.

Quinn Warmkessel was missing due to baseball commitments, but forward Kenyo Herrera provided a spark in his absence with his hustle and rebounding ability.

“There’s potential there, definitely,” Weaver said. “He’s in the mix for minutes. He’s a guy that gets real hyped up. Sometimes he rushes. We just have to learn to play with patience, and that’s got to come from the seniors.”

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZSalisbury's Patrick Foley goes up for a shot durin a recent summer league game.