SALADO After catching Lorena off guard early with its pressure, Salado got a taste of its own medicine as the Leopards rallied for a 47-42 road victory Monday.
Forcing Lorena into some mistakes early, the Eagles jumped ahead 13-7 midway through the opening quarter on a Koby Spears put-back and led 15-11 entering the second. The Leopards, though, returned the favor beginning in the second as lanky post Tyler Underwood forced the first of 10 Salado second-quarter turnovers and pulled within 24-21 with less than 30 seconds left before halftime.
"We got up early because we were able to catch them off guard, I think a little bit at first, to get some easy baskets," Salado coach Kenny Mann said. "But then they settled down and started breaking our press, and their half-court defense is really good. They've got long arms that my little guards had a hard time passing around."
Things didn't get much better in the second half, even eliciting an angry reaction from Mann, who slammed his clipboard several times onto the court after Lorena converted a turnover to pull ahead 31-25 midway through the third quarter.
"It was more of a statement to (my team) than anything else," Mann said. "Sometimes they need a little jolt, and I think they needed one right there."
Mann's fit worked, albeit only for that quarter, as Salado closed out the third on a 7-1 run to tie it at 32-32.
From there, the Leopards' pressure got the best of Salado as back-to-back turnovers in the closing 30 seconds resulted in four consecutive Lorena free throws to seal the win.
Underwood led all scorers with 20 points, including 13 in the first half, while Salado's Tony Sager led the Eagles with 13 points.