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Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 76, Lexington 39

By David Shaw

Salisbury Post

LEXINGTON — Salisbury girls basketball coach Jennifer Shoaf took this as a good sign.

The Hornets shot a pedestrian 36 percent from the field Tuesday night at Lexington, didn’t rebound with any kind of authority and made too many ill-advised passes. Despite all of that, the scoreboard declared SHS an easy 76-39 winner.

“Sometimes wins are ugly wins,” Shoaf said after the Hornets (17-2, 7-1 CCC) extended their victory binge to 14 straight. “But they’re still wins. You just kind of pat yourself on the back and move on to the next game.”

This game was never that close.

Junior guard Kwameshia Hicks scored seven points in the first three minutes as Salisbury built an 8-0 lead. Ten players scored first-half points for the Hornets, who owned a 30-14 advantage after Lakendra Williams hit a bank shot with 2:30 remaining in the second quarter. Impressive, but at Salisbury they set the bar a little higher.

“That wasn’t good enough,” said Hicks, who finished with a team-best 15 points. “I thought we came out sluggish. No intensity. Shoaf said we had to pick it up in the second half.”

If there were any questions about Salisbury’s desire, they were answered in the third period. The Hornets kicked off the second half with a 9-0 run and forced 10 Lexington turnovers. SHS scored 17 consecutive points in a four-minute span that bridged the third and fourth quarters to open a commanding 68-29 lead.

“Salisbury has so many talents,” losing coach Robert Vinson said after Lexington (2-16) fell to 2-6 in conference play. “And like many good teams, they put the hammer down in the third quarter. I warned our girls about that. They started moving at warped speed and threw a knockout punch.”

The Hornets turned up the voltage in the third quarter, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 28-10. Williams and Bubbles Phifer each knocked down

3-pointers and De’Rya Wylie raced in for back-to-back layups.

“At halftime I kind of challenged them to finish the plays,” said Shoaf. “I told them it wasn’t about how we execute, it was about finishing our plays.”

Shoaf was also displeased with Salisbury’s first-half defense. “I told them, ‘What’s the point of playing full-court man if you’re not gonna deny your man the ball?’ ” she said. “What’s the point if we don’t take some chances and try to get turnovers and create some easy opportunities? I thought we did that in the second half.”

Phifer, for one, took the criticism in stride.

“She just wants us to get better,” the freshman said after netting seven of her nine points in the third quarter. “She wants us to play defense, be confident with the ball and never underestimate the other team.”

*

NOTES: The SHS defense forced 29 turnovers. … The Hornets didn’t commit a foul until 6:50 remained in the second period and were whistled only seven times. … Salisbury hosts West Rowan tonight.

salisbury (76) — Hicks 15, Williams 11, S.Phifer 9, Shipp 8, Wylie 8, Knox 7, K.Phifer 6, Rice 5, Gallagher 4, Wingerson 2, Clinding 1.

lexington (39) — Fowler 16, Hargrave 6, Hickles 5, Garret 4, Chisholm 3, Bigalow 3, Jackson 2.

Salisbury 13 19 28 16 — 76

Lexington 8 11 10 10 — 39

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Contact David Shaw at dshaw@salisburypost.com.

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