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Falcon girls win three in a row

Salisbury’s girls basketball team recently picked up its first win in over two years. But the Falcons didn’t stop there. They won their next two games for the program’s first three-game Colonial League winning streak since Jan. of 2017.

“I’m ecstatic about this,” said head coach Dan Riechenbach. “The girls are really playing with confidence and playing up to their ability.

“Even the losses we had, we only had one bad loss. The other ones were against teams that are top four in the Colonial League and we took them down to the wire.”

The third win of the streak was a 56-29 thrashing of Saucon Valley Saturday that saw Quinn Wittman score a career-high 35 points.

The Falcons played stifling defense, forcing seven turnovers in the game’s first five minutes to open a 13-2 lead with 2:14 left in the first quarter. Salisbury, meanwhile, didn’t commit a turnover in the first five minutes of the game.

Wittman had five steals in the game and scored several points off turnovers.

“She really lit it up today,” said Riechenbach. “She scored her points playing defense and getting fastbreaks, playing within herself and within the offense.”

The Falcons forced 10 first-half turnovers and took a 27-17 lead into halftime. They closed the game out in the third quarter. Wittman scored points in the quarter to help her team pull away 27-46. The junior made 14 of her 17 shots in the game, gathered in six rebounds and dished out five assists.

After an 0-22 season in 20019-20, the Falcons look like a playoff team this year at 3-4 overall and 3-2 in Colonial League play heading into this week.

“Our confidence is showing,” said Wittman. “We need wins. Last year wasn’t a season we wanted to have but it’s coming back this year.

“I think we’re all just playing with heart. We want it for each other.”

One difference from last season is the return of senior forward Melena Koutch to the Falcons’ line up. Koutch suffered an ACL injury during track season in April of 2019. Two surgeries and a lot of rehab later, she’s back and helping the Falcons to what could be their best season in a few years.

“Feels really good to be playing again,” said Koutch, who is enjoying the current win streak and expecting more wins as the season progresses. “Every win helps our confidence a little more. You can see it a lot.”

Koutch, who scored 12 points in the win over Saucon Valley, said she could tell during preseason that this year’s team would be competitive.

“I knew it from the beginning,” she said. “Even when we were practicing I knew for sure. We just had to get used to everyone being on the court together. I knew we would start winning some games.”

Koutch had a big game in the Falcons’ win over Pen Argyl last week with 12 points, six rebounds, two steals and a pair of assists. Wittman led the way with 16 points, three assists and three steals in that game, while Krista Bonge had 13 points, seven rebounds and two steals against the Knights.

Bonge was also tough in the paint against Saucon Valley with eight rebounds, six points, four steals and three blocked shots.

Salisbury’s game against Bangor was postponed due to Monday’s snowstorm. The Falcons have four league games remaining against the Slaters, Southern Lehigh, Catasauqua and Moravian Academy.

PRESS PHOTO BY RON GOWER Salisbury's Krista Bonge (25), Hannah Kamp (24) and Rory Watson (31) play defense during a recent game against Lehighton.
PRESS PHOTO BY RON GOWER Quinn Wittman scored a career-high 35 points in Saturday's win over Saucon Valley.