This game was one of the best games we have watched all season, with both teams being ranked in the top 6. Dayton went into this game as the #2 team in 3a and Salem Academy was #6. Both teams have been rolling as of late and are playing some good basketball right now. Salem Academy (8-3) just beat #4 ranked Sutherlin by 9( who actually just lost to Cascade Christian by 4 in OT). This Salem Academy team is playing with a lot of confidence and seem to be thriving off of it.
This game started off fast as Salem Academy and Dayton both hit some big shots early on, Dayton was leading at the end of the first quarter 15-12 but it felt like it really could have gone either way early on as Salem Academy seemed to respond every time they needed to and made this game close after the first quarter. This Dayton team has really improved the last two weeks as Tyler Spink, Dawson Ashley and Payton Garrison seem to finally have put things together and are playing well together.
During this game, it was really apparent that Dayton should really take advantage of the inside as Jacob and Justin Morales are both really nice additions and clean up the boards really well and get a lot of second-chance opportunities. Early on this season, they only really were involved in missed baskets but with how tall and strong they are feeding them inside the post and having the ability to kick it back out for a three would benefit Dayton in the long run.
The second quarter Dayton took advantage and pushed this lead to 7 as Salem Academy had a few turnovers and couldn't get a rhythm offensively as Dayton was playing really good defense and making it hard for Salem Academy to get consistent good looks at the basket. Going into halftime Dayton pushed the lead out to 32-25. Salem Academy is relying on the three-point shots going down and has not capitalized on several chances early on.
This Salem Academy team is a fun group to watch as Benett Bos, Austin Miller, Luke Miller, and Hunter Schwenke are a very good group of players that know what to do with the ball in their hands. This league will be really fun to keep track of this year as three teams are really good and then you have Yamhill-Carlton who is young but might pull off an upset if someone has an off night.
The third quarter was really fun as Salem Academy kept hitting big shots to keep themselves in the game, Dayton went ahead 35-29 with 5 min to go in the third before Salem Academy responded making it a 35-32. This was a back and
forth third quarter as Dayton leads going into the fourth 40-37.
This was a wild fourth quarter as both teams hit some big shots, Dayton extended the lead to 10 in the fourth quarter before Salem Academy essentially couldn't miss and this game would come down to the final seconds as the deciding bucket was a self-inflicted score on a tip-in from a Dayton player with only 9 seconds left in the game to put Salem Academy ahead for good 52-50.