One game after beating Octorara in overtime to clinch a state tournament spot, the Salisbury boys basketball team looked different on Tuesday night.
And it wasn't a good kind of different for the Falcons.
"The energy was not what it was on Friday. The energy was not what it was. We were two or three steps slow on everything tonight," Salisbury coach Jason Weaver said. "We can't play that way. Everybody that you're playing is a good basketball team."
Salisbury, the second seed, lost 48-35 to sixth-seeded Jim Thorpe in the District 11 Class 4A semifinals on Tuesday night at William Allen High School.
It was a far cry from the 68-67 win over Octorara on Friday night. In that game, Jaxon Costello had 35 points on the night. A few nights later, Costello was held to three points against Jim Thorpe.
"We're too inconsistent of a basketball team," Weaver said. "We've been in battles all year. We're down eight to start the fourth at Palisades. We're down 13 in the fourth quarter at Palmerton. We're down 24-9 to Pottsville. We're just not consistent enough on a regular basis to step up in that situation. Our focus tonight was not what it was on Friday. It's disappointing. District semifinals, you don't take for granted. It's not like get here every year just by showing up. Our focus and our intensity, it wasn't there. We knew they were going to take Jaxon away and we had to work for things. But we moved like we were in slow motion at times. We didn't cut hard. We didn't rebound the basketball. Every offensive board, every loose ball was theirs. I just thought the effort was lacking. It wasn't there."
Fortunately for them, they get to play another day as they take on Saucon Valley at 6 p.m. Friday in the consolation game at Easton Area Middle School. The Falcons also have qualified for the state tournament.
"I'm glad for the seniors that this wasn't their last game because I expect more from them. I expect more from this team. This isn't how Salisbury plays basketball. It's frustrating," Weaver said.
"We get another chance. We haven't lost two in a row all season," Weaver added. "I don't know where our focus is. It's disappointing to come out in the semifinal and not have the effort."
Josh Folck may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JoshFolck. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.
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