SELLERSBURG – Silver Creek put the clamps on visiting Salem Thursday and now holds a near virtual lock on the Mid Southern Conference race.
The host Dragons trailed entering the final eight minutes, but held the Lions to one field goal over the final quarter to grab a 51-43 victory.
Creek stayed invested atop the MSC race, and can clinch at least a share of the title with a win next week at Scottsburg and then the following Tuesday at Austin.
Salem didn’t score a point in the fourth until two Myron Mays free throws with 48 seconds left. The Dragons opened the quarter with eight straight points, all scores by freshman Trey Kaufman.
Kaufman had nine points in the first half and finished with a career high 22 in the win for the Dragons.
“Got a guy scoring keep feeding him,” Hoffman said. “Do that, play good defense and you can win a lot of games you play.”
Salem led at halftime 28-25 and was up 38-37 entering the fourth before Kaufman took control. He hit a pair of free throws to give the Dragons a lead, hit a 3 and then putback his own miss while drawing a foul to open the fourth. He was joined in double figures by Sammy Barnett with 10 points.
Hunter Weedin had 14 for the Lions, who dropped their second conference game. Clarksville is the conference’s only team that can still win the conference outright if Creek loses two of it’s three remaining conference contests.
“It’s a good win against a team we could see again at sectional and really just a good team overall,” Hoffman said. “We still haven’t won anything though. We still have a lot of season left.”
Silver Creek will travel to Brownsburg Saturday for a 1:00 JV tip.
SILVER CREEK 51, SALEM 43
Salem 8 17 13 5—43
Silver Creek 8 15 14 14—51
Salem (15-3, 5-2 MSC): Myron Mead 8, Blayton Miller 2, Landon Suvak 10, Hunter Weedin 14, Xavier Haendiges 9.
Silver Creek (13-4, 6-0): Ty Kessinger 3, Zane Gross 2, Josh Landers 2, Bennett Beyl 2, Sammy Barnett 10, Trey Kaufman 22, Jacob Garrett 2, Kooper Jacobi 8.
3-point field goals: Salem 3 (Suvak 2, Weedin); Silver Creek 5 (Kaufman 2, Barnett 2, Kessinger).
JV Score: Silver Creek – 66 Salem – 16