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Moir Classic: Salisbury girls 71, Carson 19

By David Shaw

Salisbury Post

The only things missing were streamers, balloons and some of those funny-looking hats. Other than that, the Salisbury girls basketball team pretty much had itself a party Wednesday night at Goodman Gym.

“We ended up working on things we need to work on,” sophomore De’Rya Wylie said after the second-seeded Hornets routed Carson 71-19 and advanced to the Moir Classic semifinals. “You know — boxing out, getting our shooting percentage up. Games like this are good for that.”

Games like this are a cure for insomnia, but the Hornets (7-2) didn’t mind. Faced with hurdling three opponents in three days to win their fourth straight title, they viewed this scenario as one-down-and-two-to-go.

“Bottom line,” coach Jennifer Shoaf said after SHS earned a berth opposite West Rowan at 3 p.m. today, “is we won the game and we move on to the next challenge.”

Carson (0-10) made its tournament debut and was quickly christened as a newcomer. The Cougars failed to score in the first quarter, shot 11 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 41-4 at halftime.

“This kind of game is frustrating for everybody,” coach Brooke Misenheimer said after CHS dropped into the losers bracket where it meets East Rowan at noon today. “Looking at the scorebook it’s hard not to be negative. But even if the scoreboard says you’re down by 40 or 50, you’ve still got to play hard.”

It took Salisbury a while to ignite its pilot light. The Hornets missed six of their first seven shots before Wylie hit back-to-back layups for a 6-0 lead. When teammate Shi-Heria Shipp sank a stop-and-pop four-footer from inside the lane, Salisbury was up 13-0 after one period.

“We knew their record,” said Shipp, whose 10 points led 10 Salisbury scorers. “But we approached it just like any other game. We came out ready.”

It was more like ready or not. The lead mushroomed to 23-0 following a short set shot by senior Kayley Gallagher with 6:26 to play in the second quarter. Carson finally got on the board when Jazzmin Brown converted a bank shot just seconds later.

“After we got way ahead, we dropped back into a 1-3-1,” Shipp pointed out. “We tried to lay back. We didn’t want it to get any worse.”

Carson looked markedly better in the second half, despite being overmatched by Salisbury’s intense, hustling defense. Senior Mack White, the county’s second-leading scorer (15.7 ppg), netted her first points when she drove the lane for a layup midway through the third period. She followed with a 3-pointer from deep in the right corner that made it 47-9.

“She was shut out in the first half,” Misenheimer said. “That’s not a good sign for us. But honestly, because of their defense we didn’t get many good looks at the basket.”

Carson, a team suffering through its embryotic stage, finished with one more field goal attempt (36) than turnovers (35). The Cougars shot 19 percent from the floor and were outrebounded 48-30.

“We’re young and inexperienced,” said Misenheimer. “But that’s just fundamentals. That’s what killed us tonight.”

Salisbury, meanwhile, shot 42 percent from the field and yanked down 27 offensive rebounds. Even so, Shoaf found room for criticism.

“Yeah, 40 percent looks good,” she said. “But if you look at how many of those shots were from right under the basket, we should’ve done better. I don’t have a problem with (Kwameshia) Hicks missing threes, because you’re gonna miss some of those. But you’ve got to execute the ones that are two steps from the basket. It’s frustrating that our offense is getting us shots in close and we’re not able to put them in the basket.”

If nothing else, the game served as a tuneup for Salisbury’s rematch with third-seeded West, a team it defeated 58-44 on Dec. 5.

“Obviously we’re gonna have to play better against West,” Shoaf said. “They played us tough the first time. It definitely wasn’t an easy game. I know they went into overtime (last night) and hopefully that will play into our favor.”

carson (19) — White 9, Lynn 4, Brown 2, Bell 2, Marshall 2, Curtindale, Taylor, Cress, Stewart, Settlemeyer, Hough.

salisbury (71) — Shipp 10, Hicks 9, B. Phifer 8, Wingerson 8, Wylie 8, Knox, 7, Williams 7, Rice 7, N. Phifer 5, Gallagher 2, Clinding.

Carson 0 4 5 10 — 19

Salisbury 13 28 13 17 — 71

*

Contact David Shaw at dshaw@salisburypost.com.

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