Salem Girls Lock Down Swampscott
by Jan Taylor
SALEM, Mass. --- The Salem High School Witches girl’s basketball team inched one step closer to making the state tournament after upsetting the Swampscott Big Blue, 38-31, at Salem High School on Friday night..
Swampscott jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter and were led by Niki Laskaris, who scored four of her seven points in the first.That big opening lead did not last long however, as the Witches scored five straight points, including two free throws from Hannah Wilkins and three points from Alix Bryant. The Big Blue were ahead 6-5 after the first quarter.
After a low scoring first quarter, both teams played better offensively in the second quarter. Salem earned its first lead of the game and scored the first three points of the second quarter. Jackie Panneton scored seven of her 13 points to lead the Witches in the second quarter. Swampscott regained the lead when they scored six straight points, including four from junior standout Ara Talkov. They were ahead for most of the second quarter until Salem regained the lead at the end of the first half. The Witches were ahead 21-18 at halftime.
The third quarter was a defensive battle for both teams. The score was tied at 25-25 at the end of the third quarter. Panneton scored all four of Salem’s points in the third quarter and Swampscott’s Jesse DePaolo hit a three pointer to help her team keep pace with Salem.
Both teams played hard offensively in the fourth quarter. Salem scored the first two points of the fourth quarter to go ahead for the rest of the game. Senior captain Holbrook Phelan scored all five of her points in the fourth quarter to lead teh Witches. Swampscott kept the game close for most of the fourth quarter but the Witches scored six points, including two free throws a piece from Rachael Zipper and Wilkins in the last three minutes of the game to put the game out of reach for the Big Blue.
“We needed this win tonight, especially against a talented team like Swampscott,” Panneton, a freshman, said after the game. “We need to continue to work hard to keep up with the teams ahead of us in the standings.”
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