Francis Has Manly Game
Every time he went up for a rebound, the Salem team went with him. Every time he came down with the ball. Tabor Academy's Torin Francis had himself a ballgame as his team staved off a comeback from Virginia Beach Salem and won 51-49.
Francis finished with a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds; 7 of them were offensive. He blocked four shots. TA's advantage coming into this one was the big fella inside and they took full advantage of him. Francis played like a man in this one. He chased rebounds, blocked shots and was the presence that Notre Dame's Mike Brey hopes he can be for the Irish next season
On the flipside, Salem's John Gilchrist had a ballgame he'd like to forget. He finished 6-for-20 in the game and 1-for-9 from the line. The zone David First's team employed appeared geared toward stopping Gilchrist's penetration and it worked. A major part of Gilchrist's game is penetration and either finishing or finding open teammates. With Francis guarding the basket as a safety net, TA was able to concentrate its game plan around making sure the Salem dynamo didn't penetrate and First's kids did a great job of not letting him into the lane.
James Parker was key for Tabor. When Salem would get close, he seemingly would settle in and bang a 3-pointer. He was 5-for-8 from downtown for the game.
With under: 30 seconds remaining, Salem's Paul Johnson had his team's best chance to finally tie the game. However, he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Tabor was able to salt away the win.