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Salem Blue Devils Boys Basketball '07-'08

Salem repeats in a rout

Durham N.H.: Salem vs Trinity 2008 NHIAA Boys Class L Basketball Championship. Salem won 66-45.16 Photos

DURHAM | The Salem crowd's victory chants at UNH's packed Lundholm Gym started with more than two minutes still remaining in yesterday's Class L championship game.
 
"Undefeated, undefeated!" was followed by "Worse than last year!"

That pretty much summed up Salem's resounding 66-45 romp over Trinity that gave the Blue Devils (22-0, 24-1 overall) their second straight Class L crown and marked their 32nd straight victory in Class L.

In contrast to last year's nail-biting, buzzer-beating 54-51 title victory, this was all but over midway through the third quarter and, partly for that reason, was even more rewarding for head coach E.J. Perry, who has now won six state titles (four in volleyball) in the last four years at Salem.

"This is twice as nice," said Perry. "Last year, at least the prognosticators gave us a chance, but everyone was picking us as the fifth to eighth best team this year. We weren't considered very good.

"I think our players will have to get a little respect now. I was on the radio the other day and someone was asking me about winning without a marquee player. But I feel we have at least two marquee players with Josh (Jones) and (Mike) Kimball and we've got some awfully good role players."

After a shaky first quarter, in which Trinity (19-3 in Class L) took a 16-11 lead, led by eight points from senior guard Ryan Bourgeois, that was only too evident.

Trailing 16-8, Jones buried a 3-pointer to close the first quarter and then scored eight more points to start the second quarter, giving Salem a lead it would never give up. After scoring just two points in the Class L semifinal win over Manchester Central, Jones finished with a game-high 19 points.

"As far as I'm concerned, Josh Jones is the best player in the state and I've been saying that all along," said Perry. "We needed a lift and he came through when we needed it."

Yet Jones, a 6-foot-3 junior, wasn't any more impressive than Kimball, who followed his 23-point semifinal effort with a superb all-around game, finishing with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. His 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Salem a 30-25 halftime lead and he was at his best in the decisive third quarter.

Ahead 32-28 early in the second half, Kimball sparked a 20-6 run that put the game away. In that span, he had two 3-pointers, eight points overall and three assists, two of them on beautiful pick-and-rolls to Shawn Stoodley (13 points, 14 rebounds).

"I've been doing that (pick-and-roll) with Shawn and (Dan) Kinney for four years," said Kimball. "We've perfected it. It worked the first time we tried it so we kept doing it."

Stoodley, who was huge on the boards in the second half, played a significant role in what became a blowout. But so did the other members of Salem's "Solid Six," a rotation made possible by versatile sixth man Kevin Sledge. No other Blue Devil played until the waning minutes.

In addition to Stoodley's blue-collar work underneath, senior classmate Kinney contributed eight points, 12 rebounds and some wicked screens, Sledge had four points and was a demon on defense and point guard Josh Frederico added four points and some fine defense on Bourgeois, who led Trinity with 18 points but only had one field goal in the second half.

"Our motto has always been 'we before me,' and I think you saw that today," said Perry. "I don't know if that was the best game we played all year, but it was the best (second) half. Everyone was contributing."

Trinity coach Dave Keefe could only credit the Blue Devils for a game that got out of hand in the second half.

"They did a real nice job on the boards and that really hurt us," said Keefe, who played his college ball at Merrimack. "They did a lot of nice things and we didn't handle it very well."

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Boys Basketball, 03/15/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Kinney, Perry aim to win their sixth state title together today

With a file full of memories, Salem boys basketball coach E.J. Perry may very well have said farewell to senior forward Dan Kinney after practice yesterday.

  And then he'll probably do it again today after the Blue Devils face Trinity in the Class L championship game, which gets underway at 3 p.m. at UNH's Lundholm Gym.

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Boys Basketball, 03/15/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Final rematch on tap for Devils

1 Photo

When Salem boys basketball coach E.J. Perry thinks back to the outcome of last year's Class L final, he smiles. The game itself, however, was absolutely draining.

"I really have one fond memory of it," he said.

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Boys Basketball, 03/14/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Final rematch on tap

When Salem boys basketball coach E.J. Perry thinks back to the outcome of last year's Class L final, he smiles. The game itself, however, was absolutely draining.

"I really have one fond memory of it," he said.

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Boys Basketball, 03/14/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Kimball carries Salem into final

Salem Vs. Machester Central in the state semi-finals10 Photos

DURHAM, N.H. | Mike Kimball had a premonition.

It was time to break out, to bounce back.

"I was in a slump," he said. "I knew I was going to have a big game."

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Boys Basketball, 03/13/08 » 1 Comment & 0.0 Stars

Wake-up Call : Salem erases 12-point deficit and moves on to title game

Salem Vs. Machester Central in the state semi-finals10 Photos

DURHAM, N.H. | Josh Jones has rehearsed the situation hundreds of times.

It's late, the score is close, he's at the line for a one-and-one.

"I practice those free throws every day with my dad (Jeff)," he said. "It's natural."

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Boys Basketball, 03/13/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Salem in good hands with ‘Steady Freddie’

Salem High point guard Josh Frederico won't say he has the "green light" to shoot from coach E.J. Perry.

The top-seeded Blue Devils can be thankful that the gritty senior blew through a flashing yellow yesterday in the Class L quarterfinals against Pinkerton.

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Boys Basketball, 03/10/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

No. 1 Salem finds some energy, staves off Astros

9 Photos

Salem sharpshooter Josh Jones wasn't expecting a cakewalk yesterday afternoon and Pinkerton made sure the Blue Devils didn't get one.

The No. 1-seed Blue Devils (22-1, 20-0 in Class L) struggled until the final two minutes before pulling away for a 56-47 victory over the stubborn No. 8-seed Astros. They'll face No. 4 Manchester Central in the Class L semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at UNH's Lundholm Gym.

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Boys Basketball, 03/10/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Salem beats Memorial, advances to quarterfinals

Salem Vs. Manchester Memorial4 Photos

Salem easily passed its first test on the road to repeating at New Hampshire Class L champions, dropping Manchester Memorial 60-42 last night.

"We got out to an excellent start and then made sure we took care of business," said Salem coach E.J. Perry, whose team is now 40-1 in the last two years of Class L action.

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Boys Basketball, 03/07/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Stoodley, Salem roll

Salem Vs. Winnacunnet boys basketball at Salem High School4 Photos

SALEM, N.H. | When the dirty work needs to get done, Salem head basketball coach E.J. Perry turns to Shawn Stoodley to take care of business. And, that's just how the 6-foot-2 center likes it.

Pulling down a game-high 19 rebounds to go along with his team-high 18 points, Stoodley powered Salem to a 72-59 victory over Winnacunnet to bring the Blue Devils to a perfect 16-0 Class L record, and their 26th straight Class L win.

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Boys Basketball, 02/20/08 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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