Green Wave Too Much for CatsSalem was celebrating Senior Night when Junior Nick Conklin went unchecked for 31 points in a 78-68 loss to Mattoon Friday night at BE Gumm Gymnasium.
Conklin had three points in limited minutes in the first half but had sixteen points by the end of the third quarter. Conklin knocked down three three-pointers in the third frame and added fifteen more in the fourth quarter for his career-high mark.
Conklin has had scoring outputs in the mid-twenties before, but this is the first time the junior has eclipsed the 30-point mark. After the game, Head Coach Bob Frederick commented that Conklin has the ability to do this regularly.
"Everything he threw up fell in the second half. Nick has the capability of putting numbers up like that."
Salem found themselves down 26-13 in the second quarter before closing the gap to two points. But the Green Wave pushed the lead back to ten by halftime. Once again down by double digits, the Wildcats went on another run to cut the deficit to two points. Salem continued to battle, remaining competitive to the end. It was a two-possession game with ninety seconds left until Salem came up empty on their last two possessions and Mattoon knocked down their free throws.
Coach Frederick once again commented on his team's resilience, calling the group "competitors."
"This group never gives up. They play hard. They're competitors. [They don't] always make the right decisions, but you can't question their want and will."
Salem plays four games over the next two weeks to complete the regular season. Their next game is Tuesday night at Olney, the same team they will open regional play against on Monday, February 25.
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