Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 68, Cenrtal Davidson 58
By David Shaw
Salisbury’s boys basketball team continues to play with grand goals — and attain them in small ways.
On Friday the Hornets maintained their grip on first place in the CCC by playing a lights-out third quarter en route to a 68-58 win over visiting Central Davidson.
“We’re just going after a conference championship,” senior Doug Campbell said. “And we want it outright. This got us one step closer to our ultimate goal.”
(12-8, 7-2 CCC) got it in part because Campbell pumped in a game-high 22 points. His supporting cast included mighty Joe Allen (19 points), sophomore Brandon Abel (11 points, 9 rebounds) and defensive stalwart Ibn Ali.
“Everybody was playing hard,” Allen emphasized. “Not just the role-players. It was everybody.”
Everybody included Central Davidson. The Spartans (11-9,
3-5) played a ferocious fourth quarter and trimmed a 21-point deficit to 62-54 when Ben Renas curled across the lane for a layup with 1:05 to play.
“We didn’t do a good job of executing our fourth-quarter gameplan,” Salisbury coach Jason Causby said. “We needed to be under control, keep our composure and take care of the ball. We didn’t do any of that.”
Fortunately the Hornets had done more than enough in the third quarter, when they held CD to two field goals and eight points. And thanks to Campbell — who drained a pair of 3-pointers and drove for a hard layup — they transformed a seven-point halftime lead into a 52-32 advantage.
“In the the third quarter they decided to take it right at us,” Central coach Brian Hege said. “We started turning the ball over against their press. I don’t think we panicked, but the pace of the game became faster than we like to play.”
Central didn’t convert a basket in the last 4:15 of the third quarter. The Hornets owned their largest lead — 52-31 — when senior Jacob Phifer buried a 3-ball from the left side. A memorable play came early in the quarter when Thaddeus Williams fed Allen on a perfectly executed give-and-go layup.
“Coach always tells us to just run the floor and run the plays,” Allen said. “You get rewarded when you get the ball. We played good as a team. Sometimes that bothers me because we over-execute. We try too hard.”
That may have been the problem in the final quarter, when the Hornets played more self-defense than defense. Central converted 11 of 12 free-throw attempts and gradually pulled within striking distance.
“As a coach you’re always looking for that mythical perfect game or perfect half,” Causby said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of what we did in the third quarter. They responded to what we told them at halftime.”
Salisbury, playing its third game in four days, had enough fuel left in its tank to hold off the Spartans. Campbell cemented the outcome when he drove for a last-minute basket that made it 64-54.
“They’ve got an inside game, an outside game and they’re good on the break,” Hege said. “And when they want to be, they can play great defense. They showed that in the third quarter.”
Causby viewed it as a small accomplishment.
“Our season has been a stop-and-go type thing,” he said. “We win two, we lose one. Now we’re starting to press for consistency, because in another two weeks that next stop might be it.”
Central Davidson (58) — Tysinger 13, Renas 12, Parsons 11, Rivas 9, Frazier 5, Frank 4, Davis 2, Kepley 1, Lanham 1.
Salisbury (68) — Campbell 22, Allen 19, Abel 11, Phifer 7, Ali 6, Gibbs 2, Williams 1, Duke, Almond, Rose, Witte.
C. Davidson 13 11 8 26 — 58
Salisbury 14 17 21 16 — 68