Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys
By Mike London
STATESVILLE ó It’s no easy thing going from passing footballs to shooting basketballs, but Salisbury’s boys are relieved John Knox made the transition smoothly.”Any quarterback I’ve ever had that could shoot, it’s taken them at least to Christmas,” SHS coach Jason Causby said. “But John knocked down really big shots.”
Salisbury won 74-59 at Statesville on Wednesday, but it wasn’t routine. The Greyhounds, who had orchestrated a huge comeback to win at East Rowan 24 hours earlier, threatened to do the same thing against the Hornets, chopping an 18-point deficit down to 56-46 with 6:23 remaining.
That was Knox’s cue. He took care of Salisbury’s next 11 points with three 3-pointers and a dish to Brandon Abel for a layup. That flurry put the Hornets up 67-56 and knocked out the Greyhounds (1-1).
“The coaches told us Statesville was going to play physical and they weren’t going to give up,” Knox said. “Coach (Causby) has made me keep working on shooting the ball a lot in practice and it paid off.”
Salisbury (3-1) did a lot right, even with Abel in foul trouble.
“I hate it came at the expense of Brandon’s foul trouble, but it was a great opportunity for some guys who are more unknown and they came through,” Causby said.
Darien Rankin scored 16 with acrobatic hangers. Romar Morris got 13 in transition. Dominique Phillips got 11 off his defense. Knox had 11 and Abel 10.”Everyone gets in foul trouble some, but Abel kept his head in the game and still made good, smart decisions,” Phillips said.
Statesville came out steaming behind Darrell Epps, jumped on the Hornets 12-5 and had the crowd at Sampsel Gym making noise.
But Phillips entered the game to face-guard Epps and the Hornets stabilized. They tied the score at 14-14 on a nice move by point guard Thaddeus Williams and took charge from there.
“We were playing back-to-back, so it would have been nice to play a slow-down team, but Salisbury came ready to run and we had to try to run with them,” Statesville coach Sonny Schofield said. “Salisbury just showed a lot more poise than my inexperienced guys did.”
Williams did a nice job distributing when Salisbury set up, and Alex Weant’s boards were key, especially with Abel’s time limited.
SALISBURY (74) ó Rankin 16, Morris 13, Knox 11, Phillips 11, Abel 10, Weant 6, Williams 3, Almeida 2, Hailey 2, Lingard.
STATESVILLE (59) ó McCombs 15, Epps 12, Nichols 9, Edwards 8, Feimster 4, Carr 3, Darty 3, Imes 3, Mott 2, Harris, King, Lackey.
Salisbury 20 19 15 20 ó 74
Statesville 16 13 10 20 ó 59
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