The USC Salkehatchie men’s basketball team made a strong statement with its season opener November 1 at home. That statement: we are here to win.
Hosting Chowan, the game started out close, but Salkehatchie soon took control and the first half ended with the Indians leading 47-21. Halftime did not slow the team down, as the young men continued to drop shot after shot and use their size to dominate offensively and defensively. Consistent full-court pressure, intense man-to-man defense, and an oppressive offense saw the final buzzer sound on a decisive 97-58 win for USC Salk.
Coach Matt Lynch kept his team in rotation allowing Salkehatchie to control all aspects of the game while always having players ready to sub in at any time. The result was a constant onslaught of refreshed players coming in to dictate the action on the court.
It was a fast-paced powerful game, truly a team effort and an excellent way to showcase how the team has come together after rebuilding.
"I am excited for our guys to finally be able to get in front of our home crowd," Coach Matt Lynch said. "We have been building this program back up since I took the job in November 2022. I think we have a great, young group that will represent our university in a first-class manner."
The team followed their victory with another decisive win over Franklin Prep 106 - 80 on Saturday. Franklin Prep jumped out to an early 10-point lead, as Salkehatchie did not come out of the gate strong. As the half progressed, the men found their footing and went into halftime with a slim, two-point advantage, 49 - 47.
The game stayed relatively close throughout the first 8 minutes of the second half. Then, Salkehatchie found its momentum and went on an impressive 30 - 4 run that would prove to be the difference in the game.
"We are off and running and I am really excited about the 2-0 start to the season. In the home opener against Chowan, we had some stage fright that we needed to work through, but then we were firmly in the driver seat after that,” Lynch said. “The second game, however, was much different. We learned quickly that if you allow a team to find some confidence early, then it can make for a long night. Franklin Prep really tested us in the first half, but ultimately, we were able to sit down and guard and really impose our will on the defensive end.”
USC Salkehatchie will take on Palm Beach State in an away game on Nov. 10. The next home game will be Tuesday, Nov. 21 against Gordon State.