Salisbury boys snap losing skid

  • Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 12:53 a.m.

THOMASVILLE — Brian McCleeven had just buried a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, Thomasville had completed a rally from a six-point, fourth quarter deficit to tie the game and things were going good for the Bulldogs with less than three minutes left.

But then Salisbury coach Jason Causby dialed a 2-1-2 zone with long-armed, 6-foot-8 Tyler Petty in the middle and everything changed.

Petty, who sat out most of the game after picking up three fouls in the first quarter, hit a pair of tiebreaking free throws and then keyed the defense as Salisbury shut out the Bulldogs the rest of the way, sending the Bulldogs to a 57-50 defeat in Central Carolina Conference action on Thursday.

“When he put him in there, he’s a game-changer, especially when he’s playing well,” Causby said. “He doesn’t always produce offensively. Defensively, he creates a lot of havoc in the middle.”

The Hornets, 5-14 overall and 1-4 in the CCC, quickly got the ball up the court after McCleeven’s 3-pointer evened the game at 50-50 with 2:23 left. Petty drew defensive attention from Desmond Wilson, who bumped the Salisbury center as the ball spilled out of bounds. One official awarded the ball to Thomasville but was overruled by another, who called a foul on Wilson.

Petty, who was 6-for-8 from the line, hit both free throws to put Salisbury for good. From there, the Bulldogs either lost the ball trying to force it inside or missed jumpers. Buster Hillie, who led Salisbury with 13 points, went backdoor for a layup and the Hornets were on the way to their first CCC win of the season.

“Yes, it was a good move,” said a subdued Thomasville coach Tony Clark.

Moments earlier, Clark’s booming voice could be heard through the closed locker room door as he lit into his team.

“This is the most disappointed I’ve been since I’ve been associated with Thomasville basketball,” Clark said. “I’ve never been in a situation where our kids quit like that.”

Thomasville fell to 6-10 overall and 2-3 in the CCC.

Donnell Alexander added 10 points for the Hornets and Jon Mark Petty had eight.

The middle was wide open as Joslyn Spires threw up a floater that hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Another time, the lithe Thomasville guard dished off to a teammate for an easy layup.

Repeat those scenes, again and again. That’s the way it went for Thomasville.

Spires tossed in 22 points as the Bulldogs walloped a practically defenseless Salisbury team 65-40 in their Central Carolina Conference game on Thursday in Thomasville.

It was a rout so complete that Thomasville coach Brandon Staton called off the dogs so speak with three minutes left and his team up by 32.

“If we could get this every night, it would be so much better,” Staton said.

No kidding. Timber Tate scored 12 points for the Bulldogs, who improved to 10-4 overall and 3-2 in the CCC. Tina Coleman added 10 points.

Brielle Blaire was practically all of But the Hornets, who only a year ago went 25-4 and had been perennial state championship contenders, rarely contested any shots as evidence by Thomasville shooting just five free throws.


SALISBURY (57) — Hillie 13, Alexander 10, J. Petty 8, T. Petty 6, Usry 6, Troutman 6, Brown 4, Fazia 2, Burges 2.

THOMASVILLE (50) — Skeen 14, McCleeven 12, Payne 6, Wilson 6, Ray 6, Johnson 3, Purvis 2, Marsh 1.

Salisbury 13 14 16 14 — 57

Thomasville 12 14 13 11 — 50


SALISBURY (40) — B. Blaire 29, Latttimore 5, Harmon 4, Connor 2.

THOMASVILLE (65) — Spires 22, Tate 12, Coleman 10, Williams 7, Johnson 6, Thomas 4, Kinley 4.

Salisbury 10 11 9 10 — 40

Thomasville 15 18 16 16 — 65

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