Moir Classic: Salisbury boys 57, Carson 44
By Nick Bowton
Carson freshman Darius Moose left the locker room Wednesday and congratulated Salisbury senior Joe Allen on a good game on his way out.
Allen deserved the praise after Salisbury’s 57-44 victory. He scored a team-high 19 points. As for Salisbury as a team? Not very inspiring.
The third-seeded Hornets looked sluggish from the opening tip against sixth-seeded Carson, but they still had enough of a talent advantage to advance to the second round of the Sam Moir Christmas Classic. They play West Rowan, the No. 2 seed, today at 4:30 p.m.
“The biggest challenge I have with this group is the motivation,” Salisbury coach Jason Causby said. “I didn’t see us having a lot of miscues tonight. I didn’t see us not executing plays and sets. As a coach, it’s just motivating kids to go out and do it. I don’t think I did that tonight because we weren’t motivated.
“First quarter, we kind of plodded through that and built a little bit of a lead and just let it go — like we were content with that.”
As a result, Salisbury (5-4) never pulled away. The Hornets led 23-22 at halftime and 40-32 going into the fourth quarter. Allen played consistently, but Salisbury didn’t show the energy it’s capable of and didn’t get much from some of its starters.
Point guard Doug Campbell, for instance, came in averaging 15.1 points per game. He finished with three points on 1-for-7 shooting. Forward Zac Rose scored just one point and never got into the offense.
Carson, however, doesn’t have the talent to overcome Salisbury even on a sluggish night.
The Cougars (0-9) did their best to rebound against a much-taller Salisbury team, and they were outrebounded only 33-31. Salisbury’s size, though, eventually proved too much for Carson. The Hornets grabbed 11 of their 14 offensive rebounds in the second half, most of those in the final quarter.
“I thought one of the main things that hurt us was the offensive rebounding they did in the second half,” Carson coach Brian Perry said. “We gotta make sure we finish these things out.
“We’ve been having a problem with the third quarter. I thought we played decent in the third quarter, but then the last four, five minutes of the game really hurt us.”
When Salisbury began getting more second chances in the fourth quarter, it used a 9-2 run to put the game out of reach. Moose tried to keep the Cougars close, scoring nine of his 19 points in the final quarter.
“He definitely came out and shined tonight,” Causby said. “For a freshman in this venue, he basically wore everybody out that we threw at him. That’s one of those other things that you really scratch your head at. I think he’s gonna be a great player, but is he there yet? As a freshman, you’d like to think the kids I can throw at him that are juniors and seniors can hold him down.
“We just flat out didn’t do it tonight. We didn’t have an answer for him at all in the middle.”
In Allen, the Hornets at least had an answer for Moose’s point production. And that was enough to get the victory.
Carson (44) — Moose 19, Ferguson 11, Kosinski 7, Ferrare 4, Hutchinson 2, Craft 1, Fontenot, Freeze, Adams.
Salisbury (57) — Allen 19, Abel 12, Ali 9, White 8, Phifer 5, Campbell 3, Rose 1, Williams, Duke, Allison, Gibbs.
Carson 7 15 10 12 — 44
Salisbury 13 10 17 17 — 57
Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.