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Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 63, South Rowan 20

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó It’s hard to be humble after winning 63-20 on the road on opening night, but new Salisbury girls coach Andrew Mitchell took his best shot.
“I’m not sure how far along we are right now,” Mitchell said. “Our goal is 75 percent on free throws and we shot 53 percent. We counted 21 missed layups and eight missed free throws. That should keep us humble.”
South Rowan, led by Catawba signee Taylor May, expects to be OK, but it was blown away quickly.
“Gosh, they’re good,” South coach Jim Brooks said. “I guess the good news is we saw things we needed to see and things we’ve gotta get better at. You play a team like that right out of the box and it doesn’t take long for you to see exactly where you’re at.”
Senior Shi-Heria Shipp led the Hornets with 12 points. Dominique Pearson scored eight, and De’Rya Wylie, Bubbles Phifer and Ayanna Holmes had seven each.
The Hornets were balanced. Eleven scored. In the second quarter, five Hornets had four points each.
“I thought we did pretty good,” Shipp said. “We came to win. When people weren’t open they passed and we took only the open shots.”
Phifer didn’t shoot anything like she usually does. With the looks she was getting, it could’ve been 83-20.
South achieved its only tie at 2-2 on a bucket by May on an inbounds play.
May’s next basket ó and South’s next one ó came with 6:45 left in the second quarter. At that point it was 18-4, and it was over.
It was 37-11 at halftime.
South made only six field goals against suffocating defense. One was a Nikki Graham specials from 30 feet. Another was an off-balance shot by Sam Goins that received a kind kiss off the iron.
“Defense was the best thing,” Mitchell said. “And it should have been. That’s what we’ve been spending our time on, but maybe we neglected the offense too much.”
Shipp agreed with that analysis.
“This summer we were not that good on D, so we worked on defense, defense, defense,” she said. “But we know the offense will come, if we focus on making those free throws.”
Shipp opened the scoring with a bucket off a steal.
After May tied it, the Hornets went on a 16-0 tear that featured a blocked shot by Shipp that she turned into a layup on the other end.
Every inbounds pass was an adventure for the Raiders against Salisbury’s pressure, and South committed 16 turnovers before halftime.
South matched the Hornets’ intensity early, but the Raiders were consistently outrebounded. The Hornets were quicker off their feat, and Wylie and the Holmes twins, Ayanna and Ashia, usually had their way when they got into the lane.
“You make a defensive mistake against Salisbury and you pay the price every time,” Brooks said. ‘Someone will have to play just about perfect to beat them. They don’t apologize ó they just go. I like that about them.”
Salisbury (63) ó Shipp 12, Pearson 8, B. Phifer 7, Wylie 7, Ay. Holmes 7, Miller 6, As. Holmes 6, N. Phifer 3, Rice 3, Young 2, Clinding 2, Ross.
SOUTH ROWAN (20) ó May 7, Graham 6, Morrow 3, Goins 2, Garrett 2, K. Haywood, W. Haywood, Ashley, Sides, Roberts.
Salisbury 14 23 14 12 ó 63
S. Rowan 2 9 6 3 ó 20

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