Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 59, Ledford 51

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

By Ronnie Gallagher

Salisbury Post

Joe Allen returns to his old school tonight when Salisbury visits North Rowan. So here’s a message for his former teammates.

Joe’s on fire.

Allen did pretty much whatever he wanted in the Hornets’ 59-51 win over Ledford on Tuesday night, keeping Salisbury on top of the Central Carolina Conference.

Allen had 17 points by halftime and finished with 29, tying his career best set earlier this season.

Like most CCC teams, Ledford, a short, 3-point shooting, backdoor-cutting team, found Salisbury to be too big to handle.

“We’re undersized, no question about it,” said Ledford coach Scott Dalton. “That was the difference in the game. We weren’t able to control Allen.”

“They got too many easy catches in the post. With a player of his caliber, you let him get it down low, it’s over with.”

Dalton also pointed to some key jumpers by Brandon Abel, and his seven points made him the second-leading scorer.

But it was Allen’s night.

“They didn’t have anybody my size so I tried to take advantage,” Allen said.

Salisbury (9-6, 4-1) led

32-20 at the half as guards Thaddeus Williams, Doug Campbell and Ibn Ali kept dumping it inside. Allen simply lifted and lofted easy shot after easy shot into the basket.

“I don’t feel they had an answer for him,” said Salisbury coach Jason Causby. “If he caught it clean, he got a good look every time.”

Although Dalton tried to make adjustments, Allen continued his onslaught in the third period, scoring eight more. His last basket of the period put Salisbury up 46-24.

Ledford (6-9, 3-2) never quit and behind the long-ranging bombing of Sam Hopkins, pulled to within eight with 1:17 left.

“They do a lot of screening and cutting and it’s tough for anybody, I don’t care how good you are defensively,” Causby said. “They’re a headache to play offensively.”

As good as Allen was putting the ball in the hoop, Causby pointed to one of his passes, a sweet dish to Jacob Phifer for a layup.

“I think what you’re seeing is a group of guys who are really getting comfortable playing with each other,” Causby said.

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NOTES: Ledford hit eight threes … Dalton was certainly impressed with Salisbury. “Their size and athleticism forces you to play a little quicker than you want to,” he said. … Allen also scored 29 in the season opener against South Rowan. … Of the CCC, Dalton added, “It’s going to be an interesting race down the stretch.”

Ledford (51) — Hopkins 15, Walser 10, Fitzgerald 9, Dykoff 5, Worley 4, Aldridge 4, McDowell 2, Sparrow 2, McInnis.

Salisbury (59) — Allen 29, Abel 7, White 6, Phifer 6, Ali 5, Campbell 3, Rose 2, Allison 1, Williams, Duke, Almond, Witte, Handy, Gibbs.

Ledford 7 13 9 22 — 51

Salisbury 16 16 14 13 — 59

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Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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