Salisbury salvages split
SALISBURY — Friday was the last day of exams at Salisbury High, where the boys basketball team passed a major test well after the bell rang.
The Hornets avoided a 1-2 start in Central Carolina Conference play with a dominant third-quarter against Thomasville in a 73-65 win at home.
The Hornets didn’t need an A-plus at this juncture, but needed enough right answers to solve whether they could complete in the competitive CCC.
“We came nowhere close to playing a perfect game,” Salisbury coach Jason Causby said. “But we played as well as we have in a long time.”
SHS (8-7, 2-1) broke open a 34-29 halftime lead thanks in part with to two straight 3’s from guard Corban Usry.
Usry scored a game-high 21 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Add in a career-high 20 points from big man Wes Fazia and the Hornets found a recipe for success.
“We played around with our lineup until we got a group out there that was willing to share the ball,” Causby said. “We found a group that clicked.”
Fazia and Usry also got big 3-point plays in the third that went a long way.
“I knew I had the shot, so I took them,” Usry said of the second half. “They felt good leaving my hand.”
The Hornets took the lead for keeps on a jumper from D.J. Alexander at 15-14 in the first quarter. Salisbury led 20-16 after eight minutes. Thomasville (6-7, 2-1) hung around thanks to a pair of treys from Kamel Henry. Demoris Payne led the Bulldog effort with 19 points.
“In the third quarter we got a little frustrated,” Thomasville coach Gil Maxwell said. “That’s what got the lead up to double digits.”
The Bulldogs cut the lead to six on two occasions in the final two minutes. SHS hit its free throws down the stretch and held off the CCC rivals to claim its first win since the league opener.
The Salisbury girls fell to Thomasville 54-40. SHS couldn’t keep a 22-20 game at halftime tight as the Bulldogs pulled away by outscoring their host 18-4 in the third quarter.
“We missed some layups and they made theirs,” Salisbury coach Lakai Brice said. “We weren’t mentally ready in the third quarter.”
Senior Nyasia Harris led the Hornets with 16 points. SHS (5-11, 0-3) had a 10-9 lead after the first quarter and led 16-14 after a jumper from Harris. Michela Williams scored 19 to lead Thomasville while Christina Coleman scored 13.
“I told them at halftime we had to do a much better job on the boards,” Thomasville coach Brandon Staton said. “I told them we had to limit them to one shot, get the rebound and play our game.”
After the third quarter ended, THS led 40-24 and the Hornets had an uphill climb. The closest they got from there was on a trey from Harris that cut it to 52-40 in the waning minutes. Monifa Angle scored 11 points for SHS.
Both SHS teams face Asheboro Monday for action at Southeast Guilford High.
THOMASVILLE (65) — Payne 19, McElveen 17, Green 11, Henry 6, Johnson 5, Thomas 5, Purvis 2, Marsh, Hirc, Davis, Anderson.
SALISBURY (73) — Usry 21, Fazia 20, Alexander 10, Brown 6, Rayner 5, Petty 4, Troutman 3, Canipe 2, Wilson 2.
Thomasville 16 13 14 22 — 65
Salisbury 20 14 20 19 — 73
THOMASVILLE (54) — Thomas 19, Coleman 13, Miller 8, Williams 7, Wilder 4, Burgess 2, G ayman 1, Oliver, Burgess, Kinley, Bowden, Johnson.
SALISBURY (40) — Harris 16, Angle 11, Alexander 6, Philpot 4, Hightower 3, Wolfe, Charles, Robinson.
Thomasville 9 13 18 14 — 54
Salisbury 10 10 4 16 — 40