Prep Hoops: Statesville girls 53. Salisbury 45

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2006

By David Shaw

Salisbury Post

The following is not a misprint:

“Maybe this is just what we needed.”

That was Salisbury girls basketball coach Jennifer Shoaf talking about her team’s hard-to-watch 53-45 loss to visiting Statesville on Friday night. The Hornets shot about 30 percent from the field, missed way too many layups and turned the ball over 26 times.

And for that, Shoaf was grateful.

“Maybe now we can get back to where we want to be,” she said after SHS squared its record at 1-1. “Maybe this is our wakeup call. Hopefully this is our wakeup call.”

If the Hornets hope to maintain their perch near the top of the CCC standings, they’ll have to play better at both ends. Salisbury did its best work early against the Greyhounds (3-1), grabbing a 9-5 lead after one quarter and extending it to 15-7 on a foul-line set shot by Kwameshia Hicks with 4:54 left in the first half.

“We were going good for a while,” Shoaf said. “But if you look at our shot chart, all of our shots were in the paint. We just couldn’t make them. We got the opportunities we wanted but just couldn’t finish. We stunk.”

Only on offense. Defensively the Hornets showed some promise, limiting Statesville to five field goals in the first half.

“For us, this was a measuring stick game,” winning coach Todd Jones said. “The thing is we don’t want to make too much out of it because we’ve got to play them again next week.”

Salisbury was able to forge a 17-15 halftime lead when Kia Rice scored on a fastbreak layup with 20 seconds on the clock. Statesville turned the game around in the third quarter, when early layups by Jordan Daywalt and freshman Simone Parker and a 3-pointer from the left corner by Keyanna Harris moved the Greyhounds five points ahead.

“I could feel it slipping away early in the third quarter,” Shoaf said. “I turned around and looked at my assistants and said, ‘What do we try to do here? At what point do we go full-court, man-to-man and take our chances and try to get back into this game?’ ”

The answer may have come too late. By the time Jada Nesbit knocked down a 3-ball early in the fourth quarter, Statesville owned a 36-26 lead and was feeding Salisbury a plate of its own pot roast.

“You know I told the girls at halftime that defense was going to win this game,” Jones later reported. “But it helped that some of our outside shooters showed up.”

Salisbury still trailed by nine points when Shi Heria Shipp drove the lane for a layup and De’Rya Wylie hit a short banker, trimming the deficit to 41-36 with 3:40 to play.

“Was that a turning point?” Shoaf wondered. “I don’t know. Even down five, I don’t know if we could have come back and won.”

Salisbury’s fate was sealed seconds later when Shipp fouled Statesville’s Tantania Hickman in the act of shooting, then was assessed a technical for what Shoaf termed “ridiculous reasons.” Hickman converted two of the four free throws — the Greyhounds went 11-for-22 from the line in the fourth quarter — and pushed Statesville across the finish line.

“Sometimes I’ve got to show a little emotion to get them to play with emotion,” Jones concluded. “I hate to be that way, but tonight it worked.”

And for Salisbury, very little did.

*

NOTES: The Hornets play at West Rowan on Tuesday and at Statesville next Wednesday. … Shipp suffered leg cramps late in the third quarter but returned in the fourth. Statesville’s Raven Brown needed a couple of aspirin after banging the left side of her head, but she also returned.

statesville (53) –Gillespie 15, Parker 10, Harris 8, Brown 6, Hickman 6, Nesbit 5, Daywalt 2, Bailey 1.

salisbury (45) — Wylie 8, S.Phifer 8, K.Phifer 7, Shipp 6, Hicks 6, Rice 5, Knox 4, Gallagher 1, Wingerson, Clinding, Williams.

Statesville 5 10 16 22 — 53

Salisbury 9 8 7 21 — 45

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