The following are a few signs of sure trouble:
If you're out in the middle of a frozen pond and you hear the ice cracking around you, you know you're in trouble.
If you're 150 miles away from the nearest gas station and your fuel gauge reads E, you know you're in trouble.
If your basketball team has as many team fouls as it has points in a half of play, you know you're in trouble.
Such was the case for the Salem Lady Greyhounds as they traveled to the Longhorn Corral in Viola Feb. 4 for a match with the red-hot Lady Longhorns in 2AA-North play.
As it turned out, the handwriting was on the wall early as Salem had all kinds of problems in the first two periods of play, resulting in a half that saw the Lady Hounds (8-11, 5-7) post just six points while racking up six team fouls along with numerous turnovers and miscues, ending with a 58-28 loss for Salem.
With the win over their Fulton County rivals, the Lady Longhorns end conference play with an impressive mark of 12-0 in the 2AA-North, and 23-3 overall, including a 10-game winning streak. Viola is currently ranked number eight in Class AA hoops.
Viola jumped in front 10-2 after the first period, with four different players logging points, while Salem had to settle for a layup from Carrie Johnson (six points) in the frame.
The second strongly resembled the first, with the Lady Greyhounds struggling just to keep the ball on their side of the court.
Kyla Batterton (six points) nailed a 3-ball to start the frame for Viola, before Lindsey Barker (10 points) followed with one of her own.
Hanna Bray (nine points) logged one of the Lady Hounds' two field goals in the period before Viola ripped off a 16-0 run that went deep into the frame.
Megan Cox stopped the run with a jumper for Salem with 24 ticks remaining until the half, but the Lady Greyhounds were in a 29-6 hole at intermission.
Salem did manage to log 10 points in the third, but the Lady Longhorns still stayed on top 40-16 after three, on their way to a 30-point win.
Jamie Daily and Micah Thompson tallied 10 points each for Viola, while Teegan Baumunk posted nine, and Cayla Cotter six. Jennifer Garcia, Halimeh Amer and Adlena Coggins finished with two points apiece.
Tabitha Hall had four points for Salem, with Lairen Hall adding three. Brittney Bales and Bailey Wagner logged two points each for the Lady Hounds.
Wrapping up the evening, the boys' contest looked like deja vu all over again.
Unable to generate any offense early, the Greyhounds (12-11, 5-7) fell in a big hole and couldn't climb out, with the Longhorns (25-7, 9-3) wrapping up conference play with a 46-32 win over Salem.
Much like their girl counterparts before them, the Hounds found just one hoop in the first period of play, a layup from Kyle Estes (10 points), as they fell behind 9-2 after one.
Ryan Walker was busy for the Horns during that span, knocking in four of his team's points in the frame. Walker recorded a game-high 17 points on the night.
Viola moved in front 16-2 early in the second thanks to a 6-0 run keyed by a triple from Dalton Haley.
Estes fought back for Salem midway into the period with six straight points, but the Longhorns held serve 20-12 at the half.
The Greyhounds put together a nice 6-0 late in the third sparked by a bucket from Dusty York that cut Viola's margin to eight, 28-20, with 1:58 left in the period.
Lance Powell (five points) nailed a field goal for the Hounds with time running off the clock late in the third that kept the Viola advantage at eight, 30-22, after three.
Powell came up big just inside the start of the fourth by jacking a 3-pointer, and Chad Willet (five points) immediately did the same for the Greyhounds, pulling his team within four, 34-30, with 5:14 left in the game.
This also proved to be Salem's next-to-last field goal of the game, as the Longhorns ended the contest on a 12-2 run to come away with a 14-point win.
Kevin Painter, Cody Hutson and Kaleb West had eight points each for Viola, while Cory Batterton added two.
Phillip Taylor tallied six for Salem, with Nathan Criss and Derek Estes adding two points each.
The Lady Longhorns kept their 2AA-North win streak intact at 11 games and counting with a tight 46-44 win over the ICC Lady Cougars at the Longhorn Corral Feb. 1, thanks in part to a big play late by Micah Thompson.
With less than a second showing on the game clock in the fourth period, Thompson used a putback to push the Lady Horns to victory. The win also clinched the conference crown for Viola.
Holding a 34-30 lead heading into the final period, Viola (22-3, 11-0) fended off a Lady Cougar (23-7, 9-3) rally to emerge with the two-point win.
Kyla Batterton paced the Lady Horns with a game-high 17 points. Thompson and Lindsey Barker added 10 points apiece.
Brittney Richardson led the Lady Cougars with 15 points, while Lauren Cunningham and Sammi Fowler followed with 10 points apiece.
In boys' action, the game was not quite as close in the late going, with Viola knocking off the Cougars 67-51.
The Longhorns used a 15-5 run in the third period to salt the game away.
Cody Hutson led the Longhorns with 24 points, while Ryan Walker followed with 21.
Jesse Dockins tossed in 17 points for ICC (22-10, 8-4) in the 2AA-North loss, with Jason Sherrell adding 16.