WestLiberty-Salem ready for big OHC meeting with rival Triad


Win or lose, West Liberty-Salem’s boys basketball team is moving on to the next game.

That happens to be a key local Ohio Heritage Conference matchup at rival Triad on Friday.

The Tigers (3-5, 2-1) have lost four straight games, including a few four-point losses. They fell to Miami East 58-47 last Saturday at the Versailles Holiday Tournament.

“It’s about just continuing to be consistent,” said WL-Salem head coach Darrin Leichty. “We have to work with each other. We’ve lost four in a row, but it doesn’t feel like it. The guys are coming to practice and are still battling and hungry for another win.

“We need to get better at a little bit of everything. It’s not just one thing. We have to play for 32 minutes. In one game something happens for just a quarter of a game. In another game it’s offense or defensive rebounding. We can’t have any let-downs because this is a big game with Triad.”

The Cardinals (3-3, 2-2) snapped a three-game winning streak last Friday after Mechanicsburg clipped them 74-73 in overtime. With speed and explosive scorers, Leichty knows Triad will present plenty of challenges.

“They are really quick,” said Leichty. “I’ve seen them in person and on film. Their quickness is an issue for us. They’ve also averaged quite a few points this season and that is something we’ll have to deal with.

“For us, we have had trouble getting timely buckets when we needed them. We need to keep adding to the scoring column. We need defensive stops and can’t allow second-chance points. We have to force them to shoot deeper and I’d like to see us penetrate and score in the paint.”

GAME NOTE: Because of Ohio State playing in the Orange Bowl on Friday night, WL-Salem and Triad have decided to start the game earlier. The varsity game is expected to begin around 6:30 p.m.

Elsewhere around the area this weekend:

Northwestern at Ben Logan

Benjamin Logan is anxious for a win and hopes to earn one when its hosts Northwestern Friday in a Central Buckeye Conference Mad River division contest. The varsity start time has been moved and is expected to begin around 6 p.m.

The Raiders (4-6, 0-2) have lost six straight after falling 68-36 to Upper Scioto Valley last Friday. The Warriors (2-5, 1-2) are coming off a 66-61 victory over Graham.

Northwestern is averaging 24.9 points per game. The offense is led by senior forward Ross Elliott, who is second in the CBC in scoring with 18.3 points per game. Junior forward Andy Eilliott brings in 9.6 ppg.

Graham at Indian Lake

Indian Lake is looking to shake off a series of losses when it hosts Graham on Friday in Central Buckeye Conference Mad River division action. The varsity start time has been moved up and is expected to begin around 6 p.m.

The Lakers (3-5, 2-1) have dropped three straight games after losing to St. Marys 56-35 on Saturday. The Falcons (1-5, 1-2) are on a four-game losing streak and fell 51-31 to Ponitz on Monday.

Graham is sparked by junior guard Devon Allen, who tallies 14 points per game. Junior guard Travis Moffet adds nine ppg to the offense. As a team, the Falcons have totaled 46 ppg this season.

Riverside at Fairlawn

Riverside hopes to add to its win column Saturday when it travels to Fairlawn for a non-league matchup.

The Pirates (3-5) are feeling good after a 67-32 win against New Miami in the Bradford Holiday Tournament. The Jets (1-3) were handled by Russia 62-38 on Dec. 20.

North Baltimore at Ridgemont

Ridgemont appears to have an evenly matched opponent Saturday when it hosts North Baltimore in a non-league contest.

The Gophers (2-4) came up short against St. Wendelin 54-47 on Saturday. The Tigers (2-6) have lost three consecutive games and were rolled by Lima Perry 72-44 on Saturday.