SPRINGFIELD - For the first time since 2013, Salisbury has won a state championship in boys basketball.
The Panthers defeated Principia 55-46 to win the MSHSAA Class 2 state title in a back-and-forth game. Salisbury utilized a 9-0 run in the second quarter to lead by one at halftime and another 9-0 to start the fourth quarter to pull away.
This capped off what had been a week filled with emotions for Salisbury after the passing of starter London White on March 6.
Before the team headed down to Springfield, Panthers head coach Kenny Wyatt asked White's parents if they wanted the team to continue playing the rest of the season.
With the permission and support from the parents, Salisbury aimed for a state championship to honor White.
In both the state semifinals against Hartville on Friday and the state championship, the Panthers entered the fourth quarter in tied games. Salisbury would go on to win both by scoring 20 points in the final quarter, the same number White wore on his jersey.
White's parents made the trip down to Springfield to cheer on Salisbury. Both were in tears as the final buzzer sounded and the student section chanted "Love like London".
White's mother walked onto the floor for post-game honors, accepting her son's first place medal and hoisting up the championship trophy for the sport that her son loved.
Cooper Francis led Salisbury with 21 points, Hayden Wooldridge had 13 points, Ethan Hamilton had nine points, and Ryan Binder had 8 points.