Boys Basketball Finishes Second at Salem, Contributes Two Players to All-Tournament Team

Sam Lance, Sports Editor

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Edwardsville boys basketball made the championship game of the 67th annual Salem Invitational Tournament for the 10th year in a row but fell short against Centralia Saturday night.

The Tigers still had a winning weekend going an overall 2-1. They picked up a 72-56 victory against Thornton Fractional North and followed to defeat host team Salem 55-39.

Head coach Mike Waldo said the different playing styles and defenses they faced in the first two games helped them prepare for down the road.

“Against Salem we played against a triangle-and-two defense and got a lot of good shots,” Waldo said. “Our guys have been practicing well and that has helped us be ready to perform.”

Those wins set up for the championship game against Centralia. Edwardsville guard Jack Marinko struggled to get good looks early and Centralia dominated the rest of the game, winning 76-53. It was Edwardsville’s largest margin of defeat this year.

“We got behind early and they are a hard team to come back against,” coach Waldo said.

While the Tigers were displeased with their defeat, seniors Caleb Strohmeier and Jack Marinko both made the all-tournament team.

Strohmeier averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds and Marinko put up 27 points and seven assists per game in the tournament, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

The Tigers now look toward a tough Friday night matchup against the 17-2 Belleville West Maroons who are coming off an 81-77 loss to Chaminade in the championship game of the Belleville East Classic.

Coach Waldo said that the size, athleticism and skill of West will be hard to deal with, but he believes his team is much improved since the first meeting.

“I can’t wait. We are doing a lot of things to prepare all week,” Strohmeier said. “We will be ready.”

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Boys Basketball Finishes Second at Salem, Contributes Two Players to All-Tournament Team