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Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 56, A.L. Brown 23

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

A.L. Brown senior Marla Powell is closing in on 1,000 career points, but Salisbury’s defense erected a stop sign.

Powell, a 5-foot-3 guard headed to Wingate, entered Friday’s game with 972 points and was still stuck on 972 after the Hornets (15-2) pounded the visiting Wonders 56-23 in a non-conference game.

Powell just couldn’t shake tall sophomore Shi-Heria Shipp, who blocked two of Powell’s four field-goal attempts and kept her off the foul line.

“Marla was asking for pointers on how to get free from her,” Brown coach Tosha Robinson said. “I told her, ‘You’ve got to use the screens. If you try going 1-on-1 with that girl, you’re gonna get it packed every time.’ ”

Shipp packs a lot of people and put on a show last night, whether Salisbury was using its man-to-man defense or employing a box-and-one with Shipp matched up with Powell.

Shipp, who is close to 6-foot with her 1950s beehive-style hairdo, also produced nine points, nine assists and six rebounds.

“Shi-Heria had a really good night offensively,” Salisbury coach Jennifer Shoaf said. “Defensively, we figured that Powell would have trouble shooting over her.”

Junior Brandie Ross did some solid work inside as the Wonders (5-11) hung in the game early against a Salisbury team that couldn’t buy a free throw and was a

50-50 proposition on uncontested layups.

It was 10-10 after a quarter, and the Hornets needed a transition bucket by Shipp and two free throws by Kwameshia Hicks (16 points) to claim a shaky 21-14 lead at halftime.

But the second half started as badly as it possibly could have for the Wonders when Shipp drew Ross’ third foul on the opening possession.

Shipp hit one free throw to trigger a 12-0 run. Lakendra Williams, Shanae Knox, Shipp and Hicks got easy, run-the-floor baskets. Hicks tossed in a 3-pointer, and it was suddenly 33-14.

“At halftime, the coaches just talked about us making our easy shots,” Hicks said. “The second half, I let things come to me more and started making my shots count.”

Ross had four fouls by the end of the third quarter, and with Powell silent, the Wonders fell well off the pace.

“The second half, Salisbury just took off and took it to another level,” Robinson said. “They play great defense with a lot of intensity and execute well on offense.”

The Wonders were shut out in the second half until Malekia Cunningham grabbed a rebound and turned it into a three-point play with 37 seconds left in the quarter.

Salisbury outscored the Wonders 35-9 in the second half. It shot 50 percent from the floor and held Brown to 15 percent (3-for-20).

“We were coming off a week with two tough games, so I wasn’t sure how we’d react against a team we didn’t know much about,” Shoaf said. “But the second half, we played with a lot more confidence on offense. We came out of the gates hot.”

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NOTE: Salisbury freshman Bubbles Phifer enjoyed an impressive spree, getting eight of her nine points in the last 2:10.

A.L. Brown (23) — Ross 8, McCorkle 6, Lowery 3, Cunningham 3, McCauley 2, Brawley 1, Powell, Jordan, Harvey, Bennett, J. Rice.

Salisbury (56) — Hicks 16, Shipp 9, B. Phifer 9, Knox 6, Williams 5, Wylie 5, Gallagher 4, Clinding 2, K. Rice, N. Phifer, Wingerson.

A.L. Brown 10 4 3 6 — 23

Salisbury 10 11 17 18 — 56

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

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