Salem — Sitting on the cusp of hosting a 1st round game this season, the Lady Saxons are firmly the second-best team in the Mountain Valley Conference, only sitting in the shadow of the West Salem Lady Titans. With a team that has a youthful foundation, South Salem has quietly taken care of business and positioned themselves for success in the 6A playoffs. Take notice and notes: South Salem can and will do massive damage if you aren’t prepared….
Being 14-5 on the year, South Salem has won eight of their previous ten since opening conference play, finding their rhythm behind a strong perimeter offense, inside-out playmakers, and an in-your-face defense. Sophomore Maddie Dustin, Junior Maggie Lapray, and Senior Halley Barram are a dangerous trio to deal with and contain, presenting multiple angles of attack and assault on an opposing defense. All three of them have skills from beyond the arc, abilities to drive on the rack, and are always hustling around the floor to making a play. Emma Cordero supplements them as a reliable source of scoring if needed, Sadie Paterson has emerged as a rising role player off the bench, Nora Williams is a strong post presence, Alexis Dalton is a hustler and play starter: There is no such thing as selfishness or “I” on this squad or in the culture.
The belief in this squad is nothing short of special, there’s never really a moment where their chemistry doesn’t become the shining star in each of their games, regardless of a win or loss. Defensively, they will face you straight up and challenge you on each possession, forcing you to earn each point that you want to score by contending every attempt. This is a hard-working team that won’t give up no matter the challenge, but one big thing they have to work on is finding four quarters of consistency. They have the talent to challenge anyone, but they have been prone to finding a flat quarter in most games, which will become a problem when they find themselves against the wall versus a top team. South Salem is capable of going deeper in the 6A playoffs that most think, I see them with a ceiling of finding themselves in the Elite Eight if they put up their best performances. Watch out for South Salem, they can do massive damage and leave a wake of destruction….