Prep Hoops: Salisbury girls 58, West Rowan 44
By David Shaw
MOUNT ULLA — There was nothing wrong with the Salisbury girls basketball team that a few open looks and easy layups couldn’t fix.
That’s the only medicine the Hornets needed Tuesday night to brush aside host West Rowan, 58-44, providing a perfect remedy following Friday’s miss-a-thon loss to Statesville.
“Saturday the girls wanted to practice,” coach Jennifer Shoaf said after SHS improved to 2-1. “They wanted to start working on things because they were really disappointed with their performance Friday night. We needed work. We missed 16 uncontested layups. We missed 12 free throws. Those things are gonna cost you ballgames.”
It was a different story against West (2-1). The Hornets fell behind early but caught fire midway through the first quarter, using an 11-0 run to build a 19-14 lead. Shi Heria Shipp sparked the rally with a 3-pointer from the right side, Kayley Gallagher hit a 10-foot set shot, and freshman Bubbles Phifer made it all stick with a pair of fastbreak layups and a couple of free throws.
“We were determined to make some kind of a statement,” teammate Kwameshia Hicks said after draining four 3-pointers and pacing all scorers with 18 points. “We didn’t want to be the first Salisbury team to lose back-to-back games in four years. So we concentrated on making layups and picking out what was a good shot and what was a bad shot.”
Hicks did her part. The junior guard was 8-for-16 from the field and scored 10 points in the second quarter.
“She hit the clutch shots,” said Rhonda Turner, one of two West scorers to crack double figures. “We expected her to take open shots, but we should have done a better job defending her.”
Hicks hit three straight buckets — a 3-ball from the left side, a prison-break layup and an unguarded set shot from short range — to give Salisbury a 31-19 lead with 2:55 remaining in the first half.
“She hit some big ones, and she hit them in a hurry,” Shoaf said. “We just kept feeding her, and she kept knocking them down.”
West was led by Brooke Taylor’s 15 points and Turner’s 12 from inside the paint. The Falcons carved out an early 14-8 lead thanks to Turner’s back-to-the-basket spin moves and Taylor’s drives down the lane.
“We actually didn’t play that bad,” WR coach Bob Blake said. “They made that real good run at the end of the first quarter, but other than that it was a good game.”
It was a game the Hornets had to have.
“We talked about our gameplan,” Shoaf said. “And the kids went out and executed. I mean, we got off to a slow start, but they put it together in time.”
Blake, for one, was fairly impressed.
“They were a very active, very quick team,” he said. “And they rotated very well to the ball. By far, they were the quickest team we’ll play this year.”
salisbury (58) — Hicks 18, S.Phifer 8, Wylie 6, Knox 6, Shipp 6, Clinding 6, K.Phifer 4, Gallagher 2, Williams 2, Rice.
west ROWAN (44) — Taylor 15, Turner 12, Sawyer 8, Foster 3, Kraft 2, Stout 2, Adams 2, Simmons, Dickerson, Izze, Graham, Cox.
Salisbury 21 13 14 10 — 58
W. Rowan 15 9 11 9 — 44
Contact David Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org.