Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 61, East Rowan 38

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 4, 2007

By Bill Kiser

Salisbury Post

GRANITE QUARRY —

Salisbury coach Jennifer Shoaf warned her players about having a letdown after an all too easy win over Central Davidson a day earlier.

The Hornets heeded her words, thrashing county rival East Rowan 61-38 in a non-conference game on Wednesday night, but not before giving Shoaf a few tense moments in the second half.

Shi-Heria Shipp scored 19 points, equaling her career high, and Lakendra Williams came off the bench to add a career-best 17 points for Salisbury (11-2), which won its eighth straight game.

But this one wasn’t as easy as the Hornets’ last win — a 94-14 victory over Central on Tuesday night — as the Mustangs (5-9, 1-1 CPC) fought back from a 27-point halftime deficit to make a game it in the fourth quarter.

“We were a little flat, and defensively we didn’t bring the intensity that we’d been playing with,” Shoaf said after Salisbury beat East Rowan for the ninth straight time dating back to the 2003-2004 season.

“We just weren’t patient offensively. We made some bad decisions on some of our shots, and we weren’t playing our game. Maybe we thought we were going to run away with it or what, but they made a nice little run on us. Thank goodness we responded and were able to hold them off.”

The Mustangs had a sense of deja vu going during the first half of Wednesday’s game — they were coming off a 57-32 loss to North Davidson just 24 hours earlier.

And on Wednesday, Salisbury’s defense shut down East in the second quarter, holding the Mustangs without a field goal and outscoring them 22-2 to pull ahead 35-8 at the break.

East committed 11 of its 20 turnovers in that quarter, and went 0-for-6 from the field as the Hornets turned what had been a 13-6 margin into their biggest lead of the game.

“(In the second quarter) our intensity lacked a little bit and our girls started thinking, ‘Uh oh, this is going to be a repeat of what happened last night,’ ” East head coach Karen Garmon said. “But they got their focus back and started protecting the ball a little better.

“We rolled over and died (against North Davidson), but we weren’t going to do that tonight. North took our confidence and our momentum away from us. But tonight, we came out looking for that.”

East found it — with a little help from some sloppy play by Salisbury, which shot just 7-of-21 from the field in the final 16 minutes — in the fourth quarter.

Behind a pair of 3-pointers by Lauren Cress, the Mustangs opened the period with a 12-1 run to cut the Hornets’ lead to 11 points (46-35) with 4:24 remaining.

That’s when Williams — who was perfect from the field Wednesday, hitting 6-of-6 shots — stepped up for Salisbury. She scored seven points in the final four minutes, hitting a layup and a 3-pointer to thwart East’s rally, then capping that 15-3 run with a pair of free throws with 12.9 seconds left.

“She hit some nice putbacks of other people’s misses, and she hit some free throws when we needed them,” Shoaf said. “She also did a nice job of attacking the boards.”

Katelynne Poole scored 17 points, including 13 points in the second half, and Cress finished with 10 for the Mustangs, who shot 26.7 percent (12-of-45) from the field, including 5-of-20 on 3-pointers.

“We definitely got our momentum back for that stretch,” Garmon said. “When you cut it from 35-8 at halftime down to (11 points), that’s hard work.

“But sometimes we get so caught up in running our offense that we forget that if they’ve got the open shot to take it. We’re getting a lot better about that, though — they’re young, and they’re learning when’s a good time to shoot and when’s not a good time to shoot.”

Salisbury (61) — Shipp 19, Williams 17, Wylie 10, Hicks 7, Rice 3, B. Phifer 2, N. Phifer 2, Wingerson 1, Clinding, Knox.

East rowan (38) — Poole 17, Cress 10, Cooper 7, Collins 2, Miller 2, Barrier, K. Stout, Hill.

Salisbury 13 22 10 16 — 61

E. Rowan 6 2 15 15 — 38

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Contact Bill Kiser at sports@salisburypost.com.

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