After six lead changes in the first half, Salem took control to win the consolation trophy at the Sullivan Tournament.
The Tigers (1-2) held off St. Clair (0-4) to win it by a final score of 55-43.
Noah Richardson led the Bulldogs in scoring with 10 points off 3-10 three-point shooting.
St. Clair also got scores from Timmy Hoffman (six points), Tyler Stark (five points), Pepper Stark (five), Calvin Henry (five), TJ Griffth (four), Jayce Decker (four), Mike Hughes (two) and Kamalei Bursey (two).
Hoffman grabbed a team high of five rebounds. Hughes and Pepper Stark each posted four rebounds. Decker had three.
“I was proud of the way that Clay Banderman and Timmy Hoffman played in the second half,” Head Coach Tim Isgrig said. “Clay battled their big kid and did a great job fighting for position inside. Timmy played with more confidence and played his best game of the year.”
Banderman, Bursey and Griffith each recorded two rebounds. Henry, Richardson and Tyler Stark grabbed one apiece.
Griffith dished out three assists with Decker getting credit for two and Henry, Hughes and Pepper Stark one each.
Hoffman nabbed four of the Bulldogs’ eight steals. Tyler Stark grabbed two and Henry and Pepper Stark each stole one.
Richardson opened the game with a three on the team’s first possession, but that was the team’s only score in the first four minutes.
Richardson knocked through his second three-pointer soon after the midway point of the first quarter and that sparked a 7-2 run over the next two minutes that put the Bulldogs up 10-8.
However, Salem closed the period on a 6-0 run to lead 14-10 after one quarter of play.
The Bulldogs battled back to take a one point lead at 20-19 with 2:31 left in the half before Salem again closed out the period strong to take back control, leading 25-20 at the half.
The Tigers run continued in the third quarter, extending to 13 unanswered points before St. Clair could find an answer.
The Salem lead stood at 42-29 to end the third quarter.
St. Clair found some success early in the final period by sending Salem to the line where the Tigers struggled for the first 1:30 of the period, allowing the Bulldogs to close the lead to five at 42-37.
“After halftime they jumped on our starters early,” Isgrig said. “I was proud of the five kids we put in to cut it from 16 all the way down to five.They pressured the ball and brought us back, but they made a couple threes to close it out.”
Salem was able to hold the Bulldogs at bay the rest of the way and found their ability to make free throws down the stretch to pull away at the end.