Saddled with three personal fouls just minutes into the second period, Sallah came back to play a flawless second half and scored the winning bucket with 1 second remaining to give Broadfording Christian a 60-58 victory over Fort Hill.
Down 37-26 at halftime and looking like a team from nowhere, the Lions (17-5) rallied with 10 minutes of solid basketball from a 49-31 deficit with two minutes left in the third period.
“Our defense was the key to coming back,” Broadfording coach Burnie Clutz said. “When we commit to playing defense and running the offense, we are a very good team.”
Tied at 58-all, Fort Hill had the basketball with 29 seconds remaining, but missed a shot. The Lions rebounded, getting the ball just into the frontcourt before calling a time out.
Cisco Silva, on the right wing, got the ball to Sallah in the high post, who turned to attack the basket. The ball was tipped by a Fort Hill defender, but Sallah kept possession moving to the bucket — sending the ball up and in with one tick on the clock.
Sophomore Isaiah Daniels culminated the long journey back for the Lions when he canned a shot with 1:50 remaining to forge a 56-all deadlock.
Fort Hill’s Jarrett Wolfe and the Lions’ Silva traded baskets to set up the winning situation.
The Lions were guilty of only four turnovers in the second half after a sloppy first half. The tide turned for Fort Hill, guilty of 14 mistakes after only six in the first half.
Broadfording made the Sentinels pay for their mistakes, scoring 11 points off turnovers in the fourth-quarter comeback that included a 9-0 run that gave the Lions a 54-53 lead on a baseline drive by Silva at the 3:03 mark.
“We didn’t make mistakes in the second half,” Clutz said. “What we didn’t do in the first half we found in the second half with our trapping man defense. And we began to run our motion offense effectively.”
The comeback started with two minutes left in the third when the Lions started a brief 8-0 run that cut into the 49-31 deficit to gain some life.
Sallah banged around with Wolfe, Fort Hill’s 6-foot-9 center. When he left, so did Broadfording’s offense, as Fort Hill went on a 9-2 run to open up a 12-point lead before halftime.
“When (Mo) started to get in foul trouble our offense got worse,” Clutz said.
Sallah, who had eight points in the first half, returned to score 11 in the second half and lead the Lions with 19. He also had 11 rebounds against a Fort Hill team thatcrashed the boards all night and led in rebounding 34-29.
Silva and Daniels each had 12 points and Ben Cradduck added 11 for the Lions, who got some revenge for a 69-57 loss at Fort Hill on Dec. 17.
Another critical plus for the Lions was keeping 6-4 junior Dalton Gaus at bay in the second half. Gaus scored all 18 of his points in the first half before Travis Bush picked up the slack to score 11 of his 15 in the second half.
At 6-2, Bush led Fort Hill with 11 rebounds.
Broadfording 60, Fort Hill 58
FORT HILL (7-6)
Carroll 2, Bush 17, Proietti 4, Gaus 18, Wolfe 8, Jackson 3, Crist 6. Totals 22 9-9 58.
BROADFORDING CHRISTIAN (17-5)
Daniels 12, Silva 12, Sallah 19, Anderson 8, B. Cradduck 9. Totals 222 14-20 60.
Fort Hill 18 19 14 7 — 58
Broadfording 14 12 13 21 — 60
3-point goals—Fort Hill 5 (Gaus 2, Bush 2, Jackson); Broadfording 2 (Daniels 2). Technical—Fort Hill bench.