Experience gained by Salem in the Districts was immeasurable

The Quakers begin 2017-18 against South Range.

Salem Quakers High School Basketball

2017-18 Salem Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Rich Hart
Record: 13-13 (4-10), 6th place in Northeastern Buckeye Conference

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
The 6th seeded Salem Quakers advanced to the Division II Boardman District Final after defeating #3 seed Struthers (64-52) and the top seeded Poland Bulldogs (70-66) along the way. The Quakers won five of their last seven games to even their record at 13-13 for the 2016-17 season. “We (gained) a lot from playing in the District Final a year ago,” says coach Rich Hart. “We return a lot of experience and depth.”

Salem returns two of their top three scorers in senior Mitch Davidson and his classmate Chase Ackerman. Davidson led the team in scoring with a 17.6 average and finished third on the team in rebounding (4.7), assists (2.4) and steals (1.2). Mitch also connected on 65 of 98 free throw attempts (66.3%). Ackerman scored 11.3 points per game and snagged 7.7 rebounds, which was best on the team. Chase also shot 45.9% from the floor (119-259) and made 60.8% of his charity tosses. Senior Zach Bezon is also back after accumulating 4.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists (led the team), and 1.5 steals per game a year ago. Junior Josh Young also is returning after shooting strong numbers from three-point range (29.7%) and from the line (72.2%). Also watch for senior Trey Double and junior Turner Johnson to contribute this season as well.

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 1 – South Range, 7:30
Dec. 5 – Springfield, 7:30
Dec. 8 – Canton South, 7:30
Dec. 9 – United Way Holiday Tournament (TBA)
Dec. 15 – at Alliance, 7:30
Dec. 19 – at Crestview, 7
Dec. 22 – West Branch, 7:30
Dec. 29 – at Louisville, 7:30
Jan. 5 – at Minerva, 7:30
Jan. 6 – United, 7:30
Jan. 9 – Marlington, 7:30
Jan. 12 – Carrollton, 7:30
Jan. 16 – at South Range, 7
Jan. 19 – at Canton South, 7:30
Jan. 23 – Alliance, 7:30
Jan. 26 – at West Branch, 7:30
Jan. 30 – East Liverpool, 7:30
Feb. 2 – Louisville, 7:30
Feb. 6 – Minerva, 7:30
Feb. 9 – at Marlington, 7:30
Feb. 16 – Carrollton, 7:30
Feb. 23 – Columbiana, 7:30

Challenges
Somehow the Quakers will have to find a way to replace the exploits of Jon Gerace, who was a Mr. Everything-type for Salem basketball last year. Gerace averaged 15.0 points, 6.5 boards, led the team in three point percentage (37.9%) and field goal shooting (48.6%) while sinking 45 of 68 free throws for a percentage of 66.2%. Garrett Dickey was also a key cog in Salem’s success last year. Dickey finished second on the team in assists (2.9), three-point shooting (31.5%), and free throw percentage (71.8%) while leading the squad in steals with a 1.7 average. “Right now, we don’t have a lot of experience at the point guard or players who will be backing up our center,” Hart indicates.

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 50.0% (116-116)
League Championships: None
Playoff Record: 12-10
Sectional Championships: 3 (2013, 2016, 2017)
District Championships: None

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 59.7
Scoring Defense: 60.7
Rebounding: 30.5
Field Goal Percentage: 43.9%
Three-Point Percentage: 28.6%
Free Throw Percentage: 58.6%
Turnovers: 15.9

2016-17 Results
Ursuline 70 Quakers 33*
Quakers 70 Poland 66*
Quakers 64 Struthers 52*
Quakers 57 Lakeview 55*
Quakers 81 Niles 61
Minerva 64 Quakers 52
Quakers 83 Crestview 34
Marlington 64 Quakers 59
Alliance 71 Quakers 49
Quakers 63 West Branch 56
Quakers 91 Beaver Local 59
Quakers 74 Canton South 61
Carrollton 51 Quakers 41
Louisville 85 Quakers 62
Quakers 62 East Palestine 56
Minerva 59 Quakers 49
Quakers 56 Marlington 55
Alliance 72 Quakers 51
South Range 70 Quakers 50
Quakers 66 West Branch 58
Quakers 73 Liberty 71
Crestwood 65 Quakers 37
Canton South 43 Quakers 39
Carrollton 54 Carrollton 46
Louisville 77 Quakers 65
Quakers 77 East Liverpool 46
*-Post-season

AP Rankings (Last 10 years)
Last game vs. Top 10 team: vs. #6 Poland, 61-55, loss on Mar. 3, 2016
Record vs. Top 10 teams since Jan. 2010: 0-5

Key Number
The Quakers have won at least one playoff game in each of the last seven years.

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