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ROCK & ROLL: Big win gives Salem momentum heading into district semis

 ROCK & ROLL: Big win gives Salem momentum heading into district semis

Salem’s Jay Kava launches a mid-range jumper Monday night.

Of the 72 points Salem’s boys basketball team piled up Monday night in its 42-point victory over winless Livonia Churchill, the most-celebrated may have been the final ones: sophomore Darrel Williams’ top-of-the-three-point-arc swish in the contest’s waning moments.

Salem’s bench erupted with joy for Williams, who, while serving as the team’s fourth-quarter point guard, had been passing up shots to feed open teammates.

When the dust had settled on the Rocks’ opening-round district victory, 14 Salem players had scored — probably a school record, possibly a world record.

Maybe neither, but enjoyable all the same for Salem’s coaching staff.

To check out video highlights from Monday’s game, click here.

Hard-working reserves rewarded

“It was nice to get some of these guys in there,” Salem Head Coach Ryan Nimmerguth said. “We told our starters to play hard, no bad habits, do what you need to do and let’s work to get some of these guys in there.

Landon Locke secures a rebound Monday night
Landon Locke secures a rebound Monday night

“All of these guys have been working hard in practice, just like the guys who are playing heavy minutes. They’ve been sacrificing all season, so it was nice to be able to get them out there. We had some JV players who were just called up this week who scored.”

After trailing 4-2 in the game’s opening moments, Salem took charge, outscoring their outmatched foes 21-4 the remainder of the first quarter and 19-0 in the second stanza.

Senior Ryan Peters, who tallied his 1,000th career point last week, led the Rocks with 18 points in limited playing time. Fellow senior Aydin Saiyed played well, too, scoring 12 points.

Connor Townsend pushes the ball upcourt despite some resistance
Connor Townsend pushes the ball upcourt despite some resistance

Salem was great at the free-throw line, burying 17 of 22 attempts. The Chargers hit half of their four attempts.

Fergin, Reid lead Churchill

Churchill was led by senior Jayden Fergin, who tallied 11, including the first six of his team’s second-half points.

Like Williams’ long bucket for Salem, Churchill’s Zac Reid received a rousing round of applause when he knocked down a long triple in the fourth quarter.

Nimmerguth said the Rocks can only savor their big win for a limited time with a talented Wayne Memorial team on deck for Wednesday’s 5:30 p.m. district semifinal game at Canton High School.

“Tonight’s win was nice because it allowed us to move on — and we’re not turning in our gear,” Nimmerguth said. “But we have to get in a good, focused practice (Tuesday) because Wayne plays at a different speed and a different level.

“Wayne has two dynamic guards who are very quick. They have some height, too, but their quickness is what we have to prepare for.”

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or

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Darrel Williams leads the fastbreak
Darrel Williams leads the fastbreak
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Ed Wright

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