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Salmen back both in Sugar Bowl Tourney, contending for state honors

Salmen High basketball is synonymous with winning. The Spartans have a long history of success under coach Jay Carlin, who is in his 28th season as the head coach.

The Spartans won the 4A state championship in 2009.

Salmen reached the 4A semifinals in 2011, losing a tough overtime thriller to eventual state champion Bossier (50-46). The Spartans were semifinalists in 2008, 2000 and 1998 and 1987 as well. The Spartans reached the quarterfinals in 2010.

This season, Carlin's Spartans sprinted out to a 13-0 record before injuries and tough competition resulted in a three-game losing streak. Salmen has rebounded with three straight wins to move to 16-3 on the season.

Salmen is one of eight teams participating in the 2nd Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Basketball Tournament at the Alario Center in Westwego January 19-21.

The Spartans are very good at guard, with depth and speed. 5'10 senior guard Khari Price leads the way for Salmen, averaging nearly 18 points per game. Price is quick and can score and he played a key role on last year's run to the semifinals. Senior guard Charles Trotter (6'0) and junior guard Eric Bell (5'10) are other top scorers. Trotter averages 10 points per game. Twin brothers Dustin and Austin Adams provide the Spartans with a very strong inside presence. Dustin Adams averages 10 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Both stand 6'7 and are very active around the basket.

Price has a number of Division 1 offers. "He elected not to sign early but he will play Division 1 basketball," said Carlin. "He has a number of skills that will translate. He has offers in and out of the state. He is solid. He is a very, very good player.

Salmen has impressive victories over Brother Martin and Bonnabel and suffered a close defeat to unbeaten John Curtis, 57-54. Bell injured his shoulder in a win over Brother Martin on December 22 and missed four games though he is back now. Bell is the best three-point shooter on the Salmen squad.

"We missed his ability to shoot and score when he was out," Carlin said. "He could have made a difference in a couple of close losses to Curtis and Holy Cross of New York. "We are back at full strength now."

Salmen was a participant in the 1st Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Basketball Tournament a year ago. Carlin is grateful for another chance to play in the prestigious event.

"t is a great opportunity to play excellent teams from other states," Carlin said.

"The competition will be great. It is a great measuring stick. It is nice to be back in the event. We need to be challenged. I am not that familiar with the out-of-state teams but I knew they are very good and I know the Louisiana teams are good. It is great to be part of a Sugar Bowl event again. Douglass won the 4A state championship in Oklahoma for the past two years. They have to be very good," Carlin said.

With Carlin and solid players, Salmen figures to compete quite well in this year's event.


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