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Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 73, Central Davidson 21

By Bret Strelow
bstrelow@salisburypost.com
LEXINGTON ó Central Davidson ended an 111/2-minute scoring drought when it made a free throw early in the third quarter. Salisbury’s Darien Rankin soared in from the left wing and drew a foul on a one-handed dunk five seconds later.
The Hornets had an answer for everything Friday night.
In an early matchup of CCC contenders, visiting Salisbury rolled to a 73-21 victory against the previously unbeaten Spartans.
Salisbury (7-1, 2-0) went on a 51-2 run that covered nearly two full quarters. Central (7-1, 0-1) trailed 6-4 with 3:44 left in the first period and 57-6 midway through the third.”The crazier the pace, the faster the pace, that’s in our favor,” said Hornets coach Jason Causby, a former West Rowan player. “We still have to be under control. What this group has gotten really good at that maybe separates us from past teams is we can play at a fast pace but we’re also disciplined and under control while we’re doing it.
“Coach (Charles) Hellard, he used to tell us when I was in high school to be quick but not hurry. We used to hurry all the time. Now I think we’re just quick.”
Rankin led Salisbury with 19 points, eight rebounds and six steals. Brandon Abel chipped in with 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Alex Weant scored 10 points, and point guard Thaddeus Williams had seven assists to go along with four steals.
The Hornets’ first-quarter production matched Central’s output for the entire game.
The defensive effort ranks third in the history of Salisbury High, which dates back to 1971. It won by scores of 55-18 and 68-19 against Trinity during the 1976-77 season.
The Hornets finished with their largest margin of victory since the 1991-92 team prevailed 96-40 against Central Cabarrus. That season was also the last time Salisbury started 7-1.
“I think this group is really humble, and I think they’re really hungry,” Causby said.
Dominique Phillips and Romar Morris held Trevor Leonard, who hit eight 3-pointers and totaled 30 points against North Stanly on Wednesday, to two points. He made two free throws with 2:50 remaining.
Central has a young backcourt, and miscues against Salisbury’s fullcourt pressure plagued the Spartans. They committed 18 turnovers in the first half and trailed 42-5 at the break.
Spartans coach Brian Hege, whose team finished atop the CCC standings last year, said Central broke the press effectively when the guards and post player Shawn Davis followed the gameplan.
“We knew they were going to come in and try to prove a point,” Hege said. “They were going to play more aggressive against us than anybody they’ve probably played this year. Our guys were warned, and we were prepared for the press. When we did run it the correct way, we broke it.
“It was supposed to be Shawn setting the screen, get to the middle, relieve the pressure and get it to a guard. When we did that, we beat it. What happened to us, when we got down eight or 10, for the first time in three years, we quit. We quit. That’s what’s disappointing to me.”
Salisbury put up the last seven points of the first quarter, outscored the Spartans by a 21-0 margin in the second and opened the third with five consecutive points. Andrew Dilley’s 3-pointer ended a 151/2-minute stretch without a Central field goal.
Eleven different Hornets scored, and reserve Tyler Lingard even threw down a dunk in the closing minutes.
“When we work together and we all hustle and complement each other, we can be pretty good,” Rankin said.
SALISBURY (73) ó Rankin 19, Abel 13, Weant 10, Williams 7, Phillips 6, Lingard 5, Knox 4, Hailey 3, Do 3, Morris 2, Wood 1, Almeida.CENTRAL DAVIDSON (21) ó Davis 6, Mays 4, Small 3, Dilley 3, Leonard 2, Mayhew 2, Brown 1, Lewis, Wright, Morgan, Snider.Salisbury 21 21 15 16 ó 73
C. Davidson 5 0 8 8 ó 21

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