SALEM — Jim Wood is not putting much stock in either some discouraging history from the past nine years or what some might consider encouraging history of the past two weeks.

As for the bad stuff, Charleston’s first-year boys’ basketball coach inherits a streak of nine straight Apollo Conference losses to Salem at the Wildcats’ B.E Gum since Salem joined the league.

Wood does not want that hanging over his Trojans who take a 3-2 overall record and 0-1 Apollo mark into tonight’s game at Salem, which is 1-6 but 1-0 in the conference.

“It’s really tough to win down there,” Wood said. “But I don’t know that I’ll play that up very big. We’ve talked about how they are another tough Apollo opponent. That should be the motivation not the history of Charleston and Salem. When you hear on TV or the radio this team hasn’t beaten a team in 20 years, well, none of these players had anything to do with it. I don’t know if that motivates me as a player. We don’t need those gimmicks.”

Meanwhile, Wood does not want his Trojans drawing any false security from the fact Salem has an unimpressive 1-6 record.

“That Thanksgiving tournament where they played at the (Marion) Pyramid is a tough tournament,” he said. “I think the 1-6 record is a little bit deceiving.”

Salem’s lone win was 59-45 over Paris last week putting the Wildcats in a 1-0 first-place tie with Effingham and Mount Zion in the Apollo.

Charleston lost its Apollo opener 76-60 so has some catching up to do.

“We’re working every day to get better defensively, being quick on help side to close out and getting better in our execution in our offense,” Wood said. “I’ve been telling them if we can make improvement every day, the wins and losses will take care of themselves. If we can progress at that pace, then we’ll be at our best at the end of the season.”

Contact Nielsen at or 217-238-6856.

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