Salisbury girls win with defense

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

Salisbury’s De’Rya Wylie tried to take a charge, fell to the floor, then went airborne right off her back to make a steal that triggered a third-quarter fastbreak.

All that amazing action took place in about half a second, making the bouncy Wylie grin and the crowd roar.

“I got knocked down off my feet, but I knew if I jumped up, I could still tap the ball to somebody,” Wylie said. “As long as we bring the defense, we’ll be all right.”

The Hornets didn’t bring their shooting eyes on Tuesday but their quickness and desire suffocated Concord. The young Hornets got 12 points from Wylie, limited the Spiders to quarter scores that looked like baseball innings — 4-4-8-9 — and took an unexpectedly routine 43-25 victory.

Concord (6-2) is tall and athletic and had put up 81 points on Tuesday night. But the Spiders didn’t score during the first six minutes against Salisbury (6-2), dropped behind 9-0 right out of the gate and never really made a run.

“I don’t think my kids understood they weren’t going to get 55 shots tonight, that it was going to be me more like 30,” Concord coach Angela Morton said. “Against a team that plays defense like Salisbury, you just can’t miss the layups. If you get a trap and a turnover — and you’re not going to get many of those — you have to make that layup. Their defense is very good, but I thought we missed lots of opportunities.”

Concord knocked down only eight field goals and turned it over 29 times.

Salisbury shot OK in the first quarter as it built a 13-4 lead, but it was 1-for-15 from the floor in the second quarter, when the only bucket it managed was a soaring layup by Kia Rice. Salisbury was outscored 4-3 during that ugly eight-minute stretch.

The Hornets shot 25 percent from the floor for the game and missed 10 free throws, but the Spiders still never got closer than eight points in the second half.

“We didn’t make wide-open 3s, we didn’t make putbacks, and we didn’t make layups,” Salisbury coach Jennifer Shoaf said. “We didn’t shoot well, but our defense did play well.”

Long-armed Shi-Heria Shipp was the key to Salisbury’s defensive effort against high-scoring Spider Von Garner. Garner finished with 12 points, mostly on runouts. She made only one shot against Salisbury’s set defense.

“We made a few bad decisions when Von was breaking, but she didn’t get her 3s, didn’t hurt us in their halfcourt sets,” Shoaf said.

Wylie and Shanae Knox looked like they’d have their hands full against Concord’s much taller T.T. Belcher down low, but they held Belcher, who scored 24 points Tuesday, to one field goal.

“We were able to get around in front of her and get help from the backside,” Wylie explained.

Wylie and Knox combined for 15 boards and five steals.

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NOTES: Salisbury’s usual top scorer — Kwameshia Hicks — was quiet, but her 3-pointer to open the second half pushed the Hornets to their first double-digit lead. … Salisbury will be the No. 2 seed as it seeks an unprecedented fourth straight Moir tourney title.

CONCORD (25) — Garner 12, Belcher 5, McCullough 3, Currie 3, Gill 2, Gillis, Eddleman, Shue, Hammonds.

SALISBURY (43) — Wylie 12, Shipp 8, Knox 8, Hicks 6, Phifer 5, Rice 4, Clinding. K. Phifer, Gallagher.

Concord 4 4 8 9 — 25

Salisbury 13 3 12 15 — 43

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Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or mlondon@salisburypost.com.

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