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Hormann, defense come up big for Tigers in win over Riverside

Senior scores 25 points for WL-Salem

WLS-RIV-boys

West Liberty-Salem’s Travis Mayse (10) goes up for a shot as Riverside’s Landon Kelsey, left, and Grant Miller defend during the third quarter of their game Tuesday at Riverside High School. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LaBATT)

It was not a great night for shooting, but it was a great night for defenses to step up.

West Liberty-Salem’s boys basketball team leaned on its defense to come away with a 51-37 victory over host Riverside in a non-league tussle.

“I was pretty pleased with how we played even though we didn’t shoot the ball well,” said WL-Salem head coach Aaron Hollar. “Defensively, we were solid. I felt the rebounding went our way for the most part, too. We hung in there and got some baskets at crucial moments.”

The Tigers (12-4) shot 41 percent from the field and had to stay sharp on defense against the Pirates (5-12), who were relentless all night.

“We work hard, but we just can’t finish,” said RHS head coach Don Epps, whose team shot 34 percent for the night. “We just can’t get our shots to fall. I’m pleased with our shot selection, but they just aren’t going in.”

WL-Salem cranked out a 12-8 lead after the opening quarter. The Tigers used a 16-11 effort in the second quarter to build a 28-19 lead at halftime.

“To Riverside’s credit, they made it tough on us,” said Hollar. “They challenged our guys on defense. We were able to battle and hit some shots to come away with a lead at halftime.”

Riverside cut the WL-Salem lead to five points (28-23) with 5:34 left in the third period. That was as close as the Pirates would get, though.

The Tigers pushed their lead to 12 points (39-27) at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter belonged to WL-Salem senior standout Landon Hormann, who scored 10 of his game-high 25 points in the period.

“We missed at least eight shots from within three feet tonight,” said Epps. “If we make five of those eight it’s a much closer game.”

In addition to Hormann’s big night, Travis Mayse had 11 points and Max Bailey chipped in with six points for the Tigers.

Dalton Bollinger continued to pace Riverside. He finished with 12 points. Landon Kelsey and Grant Miller each had nine points.

The Tigers won the junior varsity game 42-26. Cole Wilson led WL-Salem with 11 points and Jesse Kean had 12 points for Riverside.

Both teams return to action Friday. WL-Salem travels to Northeastern for an Ohio Heritage Conference contest and Riverside visits Lima Temple Christian for a Northwest Central Conference battle.

WL-SALEM 51, RIVERSIDE 37

WL-SALEM (12-4)

Bailey 2 0-0 6; Mayse 3 4-4 11; B. Burden 1 0-0 2; Woods 1 0-2 2; G. Burden 2 0-0 5; Hormann 11 2-2 25. Totals: 20 6-8 51.

RIVERSIDE (5-12)

Kelsey 4 0-0 9; Bollinger 5 2-2 12; Shough 1 2-2 5; Mechling 1 0-0 2; Miller 4 1-2 9. Totals: 15 5-6 37.

Tigers    12    16    11    12      —     51

Pirates    8    11    8    10    —    37

Three pointers: WL-Salem 5 (Bailey 2, Mayse, G. Burden, Hormann); Riverside 2 (Kelsey, Shough). Team fouls: WL-Salem 4; Riverside 7.

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