The Gloucester boys basketball team entered Tuesday’s game at Salem playing its best basketball of the season and riding a four-game win streak. That win streak would come to a screeching halt in Tuesday’s Northeastern Conference contest as Salem’s speed and aggressive defense was too much for the Fishermen in a 70-33 defeat at Salem High School.
With the loss, Gloucester falls back to the .500 mark on the season at 4-4 but is 0-3 on the road with a pair of lopsided losses.
“We knew we had to match (Salem’s) intensity on the road,” Gloucester head coach Adam Philpott said. “That’s two road games now where we haven’t been able to match that intensity, tonight and against Peabody, and we put ourselves in holes that we haven’t fought out of.”
The Witches (5-0) came flying right out of the gates, slowing the Gloucester offense while knocking down shots to open up a 19-6 lead after one behind eight points from Angel Tejada. Salem kept the pressure on in the second frame, continuing to shut down the Fishermen attack and opening up a 37-14 lead at halftime.
“I thought we were getting good looks when we were attacking and kicking it out,” Philpott said. “But we didn’t do it enough. Too many times we passed around the perimeter and settled for long jumpers.”
The second half was more of the same with Salem going up 50-18 after three with more pressure defense. That lead was extended to 37-points by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Zach Oliver led the way for Gloucester with nine points with Adam Borowick and Nate Montagnino each scoring seven.
The Fishermen have another big test coming up on the schedule as Masconomet visits the Smith Field House on Friday (7 p.m.).