Stride for stride, there aren’t many players in the Western Big Six Conference who can get up and down the floor the way Jason Salrin does.
Friday night, he showed just how much of an advantage it is to be 6-foot-7 and able to run the floor effortlessly.
With the Quincy High School boys basketball team locked in a WB6 battle with Galesburg, Salrin scored two layups in transition during a 12-2 run early in the fourth quarter the propelled the Blue Devils to a 54-51 victory at Blue Devil Gym.
“He really is out-athleticizing most big guys,” Quincy senior guard Mason Fairley said. “At 6-6 and with his frame, he’s going to be a pretty big influence on the game offensively in the full court stretching it out.”
It was part of a career night for Salrin, who went 5 of 7 from the field and scored a career-high 10 points. He also grabbed four rebounds, played quality help-side defense against Galesburg’s Grant Gibson, who is the WB6′s leading scorer, and made it difficult for the Silver Streaks to score inside.
“We’ve been waiting for him to break out,” Fairley said.
One and done
Holding a two-point edge going into the fourth quarter, Galesburg saw the lead quickly evaporate as the Silver Streaks made just one of their first eight shots from the field and corralled just one offensive rebound. Technically, Galesburg had two offensive boards in the sequence, but one came as Quincy’s Cole Abbey snared the rebound and landed out of bounds.
So in reality, the Silver Streaks got their hands on an offensive board just once in the first 5-plus minutes of the fourth quarter.
Overall, Quincy outrebounded Galesburg 33-23, giving up just four offensive boards the first three quarters. Connor Mellon led Quincy with 11 rebounds, while five other Blue Devils had at least three rebounds apiece.
Last week, the shortest player on the Quincy roster got into the act when sophomore guard Lincoln Elbe blocked a shot against United Township. This week, the big men reminded everyone of their presence. Salrin and 6-7 sophomore Luka Radovic both blocked shots as Quincy racked up three more swats.
The Blue Devils have combined for 18 blocks this season with seven different players getting swats.
Carson Gay made two free throws in the final 12 seconds of regulation to help the Quincy sophomore team hold off Galesburg with a 57-52 victory, giving first-year head sophomore coach Chris Harmann his first WB6 victory.