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Prep Hoops: Salisbury girls 56, Statesville 47

By Bill Kiser

Salisbury Post

STATESVILLE — Last week, Salisbury’s girls basketball team had its worst shooting game of the season in suffering its first loss of the season to Statesville.

But the Hornets returned the favor Wednesday night, putting together their best shooting game of the still-young season in beating the Greyhounds 56-47.

Kwameshia Hicks scored 16 points and Shi-Heria Shipp added 11 for Salisbury (3-1), which shot 50 percent from the field while holding Statesville to less than 26 percent shooting.

“We didn’t shoot well the last time,” Hornets coach Jennifer Shoaf said of her team’s 53-45 loss to the Greyhounds on Friday. “We didn’t make layups, we didn’t make free throws, we didn’t make anything except a lot of turnovers and a lot of mistakes.

“But we did a lot better tonight. They’re pretty quick and they caused us some problems with it, but we adjusted to that. We made turnovers tonight, but a lot of them came because we made some bad decisions on fast breaks.”

In that loss, Salisbury shot just 30 percent from the field and made 26 turnovers against Statesville. In the return matchup, while the Hornets committed 20 turnovers, then also hit 22-of-44 from the field (including 2-of-6 from 3-point range) and 10-of-19 from the line.

“We had to redeem ourselves,” said Hicks, who scored just six points in that loss. “They beat us on our home court, so we had to come back and do the same to them. If we had lost to them twice, then people would look at us in a new light, like we’re overrated.”

While Keyrra Gillespie put in a game-high 21 points for the Greyhounds (4-2), she did that on 7-of-18 shooting. That was indicative of the way the game went for Statesville, which hit just 16-of-62 from the field (including 6-of-26 3-pointers).

“She’s a great player, but I thought we did a good job on her,” Shoaf said. “She didn’t get too many open looks because we tried to keep somebody on her. We did a better job this time of slowing her down instead of letting her run all over.”

Yet it wasn’t all that easy for Salisbury, which saw the score tied three times and the lead change hands seven times in the first quarter before Hicks hit a short jumper with 28 seconds left to put the Hornets up 17-16. But Gillespie opened the second quarter by hitting a 3-pointer, followed by a free throw by Jada Nesbit, that put the Greyhounds up 20-17 with 6:04 left.

However, Salisbury’s defense went to work, holding Statesville to just one field goal during a 14-3 run to close out the quarter and put the Hornets ahead 31-23.

Salisbury took its biggest lead of the game midway through the third quarter, with Shanae Knox converting a 3-point play and a layup to kick start a 12-3 run. Kia Rice capped the run with a layup to put the Hornets ahead 43-26 with 4:08 left.

Salisbury was up by 16 points early in the fourth quarter when Statesville mounted a comeback, cutting the margin to 51-47.

But that was as close as the Greyhounds would get, as Shipp and Hicks hit 3-of-4 from the line followed by a layup by Shanequa Phifer with 13 seconds left to seal the win.

“We started missing some easy shots, and we were making bad decisions on the shots we were taking,” Shoaf said. “We needed to run the clock and kill some times, but they were giving us some easy looks and we were taking them. We just needed to be in our motion offense and kill some time, but it all worked out in the end. & quot;

Salisbury (56) — Hicks 16, Shipp 11, Knox 9, Wylie 7, B. Phifer 5, Rice 4, Williams 2, N. Phifer 2, Clinding, Gallagher.

STATEsville (47) — Gillespie 21, Harris 8, Parker 8, Henderson 3, Brown 3, Bailey 3, Nesbit 1, Daywalt, Hickman.

Salisbury 17 14 14 11 — 56

Statesville 16 7 8 16 — 47

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