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Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 61, East Rowan 28

By Nick Bowton

Salisbury Post

Salisbury prides itself on defense.

East Rowan struggles against one defense in particular.

The Hornets took advantage of that mismatch Wednesday night, when they went man-to-man and manhandled the Mustangs 61-28.

“That pressure man-to-man, that’s what’s killing us,” East coach Karen Garmon said. “That’s been our weakness. People are starting to pick up on that. We’re having a hard time running our offense against tough man-to-man.

“That’s our weakest link right now.”

That much became evident early, as Salisbury (4-2) led

15-4 after the first quarter. East (1-6) surpassed its first-quarter scoring total midway through the second quarter, but the Mustangs

didn’t score over the final 4:40 and trailed 27-9 at halftime.

Bubbles Phifer and Kwameshia Hicks scored six points apiece in the first half for Salisbury, and Hicks finished with a game-high 14.

“Our goal was to not let ’em get over 10 points each quarter,” Hicks said. “After we saw how they were scoring, we tried to keep ’em under 30 for the game. We accomplished our goal.”

Not without at least one interesting quarter.

East received an energy boost from its bench in the third quarter, with Haley Barrier and Alaina Vanderford seeing extended action. Barrier, a sophomore, and Vanderford, a freshman, had each played in only three of East’s six games before last night.

“Haley Barrier and Alaina Vanderford played excellent tonight,” Garmon said. “I was very proud of them. Every time they come off the bench, they come off with intensity. I can’t ask for any more. They’re earning that time, and they’re definitely impressing all of their coaches.”

Salisbury, meanwhile, saw its intensity drop off a bit in the third quarter.

“It’s hard after you go into halftime with a big lead to come out as intense as you were before,” Hornets coach Jennifer Shoaf said. “We got out to a little bit of a slow start in the third quarter and finished off strong with some of our main players there with the spree we had in the fourth.”

That spree started with a 12-0 run to open the final quarter. Phifer opened the run with a basket, while Hicks made two 3-pointers and a pair of free throws.

Salisbury outscored East 20-5 in the fourth, and the Hornets accomplished another goal just before the game ended. Shoaf made a late substitution when she realized only Kayley Gallagher hadn’t scored. Gallagher took care of that with 31 seconds remaining.

“I had already taken out Gallagher,” Shoaf said. “Then my scorekeeper hollered at me and said she’s the only one that hadn’t scored. “But she got in the scorebook, and that was nice. I was glad to see everybody be able to contribute tonight and everybody be able to play.”

EAST ROWAN (28) — Poole 7, Cress 7, K.Stout 5, Collins 4, Miller 3, Hill 2, Cooper, S.Stout, Vanderford, Barrier.

SALISBURY (61) — Hicks 14, Shipp 12, B.Phifer 8, N.Phifer 7, Rice 7, Knox 4, Wylie 3, Clinding 2, Gallagher 2, Wingerson 2.

E. Rowan 4 5 14 5 — 28

Salisbury 15 12 14 20 — 61

*

Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or nbowton@salisburypost.com.

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