Spartan Boys Complete the Salem Sweep In State Finals

RICHMOND - The Salem boys completed a Spartan sweep in the state's capital. Roughly two hours after the Salem girls won the state title, the boys did the same.

Salem (19-10) beat Grafton, the team that knocked off E.C. Glass in the semifinals, 56-48 Saturday night. Salem's win ended Grafton's 20-game winning streak.

It's Salem's third state championship and first since the 1990s when they won twice in 1994 and 1999.

The Spartans were 4-8 at one point this season. Since then, they're 15-2.

The Spartans had two players with double doubles. Matt Hill had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Light had 14 points and 14 rebounds. "Light and Hill were the difference," Grafton coach Jeremy Jordan said. "Outside of those first three minutes I thought they outplayed us the rest of the game."

The Spartans dominated inside against the smaller Clippers, outscoring them 30-14 in the paint.

Salem wore the junior varsity white jerseys because if they wore the same gray ones that they used in the state semifinals, they would have been assessed a technical foul prior to tip off. They avoided that same ordeal by making the change.

Will Pratt, 5 foot 7 inch guard said, "Mine was a triple XL but coach [Kevin] Garst's wife was gracious enough to fix it so it fit me."

Salem made most of its free throws (17-24) in the fourth quarter.

With a number of football players on the team it took a while for the team to create chemistry. The football team made a run to the state semifinals before falling to Heritage.

Elijah Moore had 21 points for Grafton on 8 of 18 shooting.