South girls beat Salisbury
LANDIS — You can learn a lot in 26 days.
That’s how long it had been since South Rowan’s girls basketball team last tasted victory prior to Wednesday’s 46-36 non-league win against Salisbury.
“It’s been a process, learning to play without Avery,” coach Jarrod Smith said after the Raiders (6-7) broke a six-game losing streak. “We’ve gotten better every week, every game. But it’s like I’ve been waiting for someone to step up and really help us out.”
Now batting: Cassidy Chipman. With teammate Avery Locklear sidelined with a bizarre hand injury, the South junior matched her season-high with 24 points and added 15 rebounds in a commanding performance.
“Avery’s a great all-around player,” Chipman said outside the South locker room. “Since losing her it’s been tough. The rest of us have had to get better at everything.”
It began with Chipman, a 5-foot-10 hybrid guard/forward. She beamed in a pair of 3-pointers and scored all 11 of South’s first-quarter points. Then midway through the third period she sank her fourth 3-ball to put the Raiders ahead 27-18.
“When Avery went down she was the leading scorer in the county,” Smith pointed out. “But Cassidy was the second-leading scorer. So her scoring like this is not so unusual. But it’s all the other things — ballhandling, playing defense and being a leader — that’s where she’s gotten better.”
Without Locklear in the lineup South went 0-5 before last night’s triumph. Salisbury coach Lakai Brice wasn’t surprised by the Raiders’ much-needed resurgence.
“They are a different team without her,” Brice said after the Hornets (5-9) dropped their fourth straight.. “But they’re mostly juniors who’ve been playing together since they were freshmen. They have chemistry on the court.”
Smith said Locklear’s absence has forced him to recalibrate the team’s expectations.
“Avery fills up the stat line in every category,” said Smith, who expects Locklear to return in about a week-and-a-half. “Points, rebounds, steals, assists, blocks. And you’ve got to replace all of it. What they’ve finally understood is that I don’t need one person to do all of it. I just need everyone to do a little more.”
And though only four players cracked the South scoring column, junior Sylvetta Bost contributed 11 points and senior Lynsey Corriher contributed nine points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Tyzarea Alexander paced Salisbury with 13 points.
SALISBURY (36) — Alexander 13, Angle 7, Charles 6, Harris 2, Wolfe 2, Anderson 2, Philpot 2, Hightower 2, Robinson.
SOUTH ROWAN (46) — Chipman 24, Bost 11, Corriher 9, Martin 2, Figueroa, Stamey, Waters, McClendon, Smith.
Salisbury 8 8 6 14 — 36
S. Rowan 11 9 11 15 — 46