Salem completes improbable run to region championship with thrilling 50-49 win over Hampton


NORFOLK (WAVY) – Salem’s improbable run to the region championship is complete. Jonathan Norfleet hit a go-ahead three-pointer with just 3.5 seconds left to lift the 8-seed Sun Devils over 3-seed Hampton 50-49 in the region championship at Scope.

The win caps a three-game stretch in which the Sun Devils upset the top-seed Maury 54-52, and rallied to top fifth-seeded Norview 59-57.

“It’s been an incredible ride. I can’t believe it, really. It’s kind of surreal,” said Salem head coach Lloyd Deloatch, who’s team entered the region tournament with a losing record. “Our guys have just been fighting since the end of the season, the end of the regular season. They just had a different look in their eye, a different demeanor, and I’m just so proud of them. Their confidence is growing day by day.”

Norfleet has been Salem’s go-to scorer throughout its championship run, scoring a game-high 28 points against Maury, 26 points against Norview, and 15 points on Monday night.

“We knew that nobody really believed in us. We were always the underdogs each game,” said Norfleet. “So, we had to believe in ourselves, no matter who was against us.”