Senior Mike Atkins positions himself for a shot against CAC opponent Stevenson. Atkins made the game winning shot improved his team to 6-3.
Salisbury wins in a thriller against conference rival Stevenson Saturday afternoon in dramatic fashion.
Salisbury pulled off a miracle fourth quarter coming back from a 13 point hole. Senior Mike Atkins hit a game winning shot to put the Seagulls ahead by two as time expired.
The Seagulls went on a 20-5 run in the fourth quarter after trailing 35-23 at the half. Atkins scored 12 points with fellow senior teammate, Mike Maczko scoring a game high 23 points.
With the win Salisbury improves to 6-3 even though their last five games haven’t been the prettiest. The narrow win against Stevenson is their first conference win this season.
Ever since Salisbury beat the then number one team in Division III in Virginia Wesleyan they have slid to a 2-3 record after starting 4-0. Coach Merkel feels there is nothing to worry about though.
“We are still getting to know the language and how to play together,” Merkel said. “Keeping the energy high and being able to depend on each player will be the key to the season.”
Coach Merkel insists he has faith in all his players with the ball in their hand in situations like the one experienced against Stevenson but the statistics don’t add up that way. Maczko and Atkins have been the clear cut last minute ball handlers.
Salisbury has two more games before their two week break facing off against Elizabethtown and Washington College.
Salisbury recooperates during a timeout against Stevenson. Coach Merkel attempts to put the right pieces together right before the half ends to give his squad last second momentum.
The Salisbury Basketball team is under the wing of a new coach and the changes have been noticed.
First year Salisbury Basketball Coach Josh Merkel isn’t new to the university and he isn’t new to the basketball program either. Merkel is a Salisbury Alumni who played four years on the basketball team during his time here.
In Merkel’s senior year , Merkel was the team captain and averaged 13.6 points per game. The team was 55-47 during Merkel’s tenure as a player.
“It’s awesome coming back here where I played my college ball,” Merkel said. “It’s funny to see the same coaches when I played are still here.”
As a coach, Merkel is not shy of the winning circle previously coaching at Division I Eastern Kentucky as an assistant from 2006-2010. His lone season at Randolph Macon College last year was a success posting a 25-5 record and a regular season title.
Merkel hopes to bring his winning attitude to Salisbury and share the same success he has had in the past few years. His presence has already been felt throughout the program with a lot of changes already being made.
“I don’t know if you can say everything is different from last year since I wasn’t here for the everyday routine,” Merkel said. “But with every coach comes a different offense, defense and court language that all the players have to adapt to.
The team is 5-3 and currently losing three of their last four games but Merkel is still optimistic about the young season. Salisbury takes on conference opponent Stevenson today at 4 p.m.
What happened at Marymount? Read this!
Watch Salisbury against Marymount! Tonight 8 p.m.
Salisbury tips off tonight, at Marymount, against a very young squad in hopes of starting a new win streak.
The team has lost two of its last three games but just recently beat Penn St. – Abington on Saturday. Salisbury was on a two game losing streak the week before after winning their first four games.
Salisbury takes on a 2-5 Marymount team that has 10 freshman and two sophomores. The top four leading scorers are two of the freshmen and both sophomores.
The team has only two seniors on the team, John Magnani, is the only senior starter and only player to start the whole season.
On the contrary, Salisbury is a little older with five juniors and five seniors. Salisbury lines up against this young squad with three seniors, a junior, and sophomore Tim Harwood.
Coming into this game, Harwood is the fourth leading scorer with 8.3 points per game. Senior forwards Mike Atkins and Mike Maczko lead the team with 14.1 and 12.7 points per game, respectively.
Salisbury’s two main problems will be sophomore forward Reed Scott, who averages close to a double-double with 13.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, and freshmen guard Jesse Konadu who leads the team with 15.3 points per game.
Salisbury Basketball hasn’t always known to be that great especially with the Men’s Lacrosse and Field Hockey teams winning national championships but this year is different for the drastically improved team.
Coach and Salisbury Alumni Josh Merkel has taken over the team and has been doing an exceptional job thus far. Hopefully the team can bring out the inexperience of this Marymount team.