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Prep basketball: Salisbury girls handle Ledford, 52-24

By David Shaw
dshaw@salisburypost.com
The end of the argument came quickly Tuesday.
Salisbury’s girls basketball team gave first-year coach Andrew Mitchell his initial CCC victory ó an easier-than-expected 52-24 decision over visiting Ledford.
“It’s a great feeling ó and it’s against a real good team,” Mitchell said. “We were concerned coming into the game because of the history between these two teams. We felt we couldn’t get behind because they can make it tough on you.”
Ledford (4-2, 0-1) has been a long-time nemesis, but you wouldn’t have guessed it last night. Salisbury (7-0, 1-0) jumped to a 12-0 lead in the opening five minutes and never looked back.
“We tried to prepare,” Ledford coach John Ralls said. “We knew what was coming. They didn’t surprise us with anything.”
No, but the Hornets may have surprised themselves.
“I was shocked,” Shi-Heria Shipp said after netting 16 points. “Coming in, everybody said Ledford was better than last year. We didn’t let them go to our heads. We treated it just like any other game.”
Salisbury used its 2-2-1 half-court press in the early moments and received instant contributions from Shipp, Bubbles Phifer and Ashia Holmes, who splashed a 3-pointer from the right side that made it 15-2 as the second quarter unfolded.
“Our press slowed the ball down,” Salisbury’s De’Rya Wylie said. “Then we went to man-to-man and started forcing turnovers. It was like you could point out the next pass and go pick it off.”
Ledford’s first eight possessions produced seven turnovers and a missed shot.
That’s not the way to beat Salisbury ó a team with a 100-yard dream.
“They were that good and that quick,” Ralls said. “Passes that looked open weren’t open. And the other thing is they can all take it to the rim and finish.”
Phifer topped the Hornets with 17 points. Nine came in the third quarter, when Salisbury used a 15-0 run to crack the game open.
“I can’t pretend that I know why we go in spurts like that,” Mitchell said. “But every game we have streaks where we score 10 or 15 straight points. I just hope we can keep doing it throughout the season.”
It was Phifer who kept everything in perspective.
“They played hard,” she said. “And we had to play hard to win.”
Wylie indicated that team morale is sky-high under Mitchell but hesitated when asked if something special was brewing.
“When the coach says we’ve got something special,” Wylie concluded, “that’s when we’ll have something special.”
LEDFORD (24) ó Freeman 7, W.Saintsing 7, Weis 4, Ballard 2, Otay 2, Surles 2.
SALISBURY (52) ó B.Phifer 17, Shipp 16, Wylie 5, N.Phifer 4, As.Holmes 3, Heilig 3, Clinding 2, Young 2, Rice, Miller, Ay.Holmes, Pearson, Ross.
Ledford 2 9 7 6 ó 24
Salisbury 12 13 22 5 ó 52

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