Prep notebook: Salisbury’s Shipp sails with style into record book

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
Prep hoops notebook …
Salisbury senior Shi-Heria Shipp reached the 1,000-point milestone in style Monday, matching her career high with 25 points in a 64-47 win against Davie County.
As a junior, Shipp enjoyed 25-point nights against West Stanly and North Rowan.
Shipp has scored 1,012 career points and is tied for seventh in Salisbury history with guard Carmen Weldon, who completed her career in 1996.
Shipp can surpass a recent Salisbury standout with her first bucket when the top-seeded Hornets debut in the Sam Moir Christmas Classic on Monday.
Ashley Watkins scored 1,013 points for the Hornets. She was a senior on the 2005-06 state runner-up team when Shipp was a freshman.
Shipp has been the Moir Classic MVP two years in a row, and she could become the first female or male to win three consecutive awards. Salisbury has won an unprecedented five straight Christmas tournament titles and is favored to make it six straight.
An Appalachian State assistant coach was on hand to watch Shipp play against Central Davidson last week.
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DEFENSE: In their first nine games, Salisbury’s girls twice rewrote the school record book for fewest points allowed.
First with a 100-9 victory against South Meck. Next with a 42-8 lockdown of Central Davidson.
The school defensive record entering this season was 14 points allowed.
The 47 points Davie scored Monday were the most the Hornets have permitted this season.
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DOUBLE-A: Leading county girls in scoring is West Rowan sophomore guard Ayana Avery, who is putting up 22.8 points per game.
In West’s first seven games, the Falcons won when Avery scored at least 20 and lost when she was held below 20.
South Rowan broke that 20-20 trend Monday. Avery scored 33 points, but the Raiders beat West 56-54. It was only South’s second win in its last 14 meetings with West.
It’s tough to defend Avery with a zone because her shooting range extends well beyond the 3-point line.
It’s even tougher to defend her man-to-man because she’s great off the dribble and can elevate over most defenders.
Avery is an automatic box-and-one candidate, but the Falcons will become a lot tougher to stop once senior guard Peyton Sawyer, who has scored 465 career points, is eligible for duty.
West has done well so far and easily could be 6-2 instead of 4-4. Senior guard Mila Simmons, who scored 3.9 points a game last season, has reached double digits five times.
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TOUGH BREAK: West coach Erich Epps said a key moment in Monday’s loss came when Allison Parker made a layup off a steal but was called for steps.
“We’ve got some girls who are playing really hard who just need a little confidence, and that play would have been big for her,” Epps said. “All our girls are trying hard. We’ve just got to find a way to finish layups and make those free throws to close out games.”
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RED DEVILS: With Laurie Corriher filling in for Jim Brooks as South’s coach and Epps on the West bench, Monday’s game featured a matchup of two Newton-Conover High graduates.
Corriher said it was her first time calling the shots since she piloted South’s jayvees in 1995.
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PEP TALK: Brooks was ejected from last Friday’s game with East Rowan.
He sat out the West game and also will miss South’s contest against Carson in the first round of the Christmas tournament Saturday.
Brooks talked to the team before it made the short bus trip to West, and his encouragement to keep playing no matter how tough it got paid off when the Raiders rallied from 12 points down for a rare win in Mount Ulla.
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NIKKI AT NIGHT: South senior guard Nikki Graham is the wild card in any game the Raiders play.
Graham takes no routine shots. Everything is long distance or on the move, but she knocks down shots no one else would think about attempting.
West opened with a triangle-and-two, playing Graham and Taylor May man-to-man, then switched mostly to a 1-3-1 zone or 2-3 zone.
Graham was 2-for-13 in the first half ó both 3s were from deep ó but she didn’t put her head down. She finished with 18 points, including two massive 3s down the stretch.
Graham, who would be the favorite in a county H.O.R.S.E. tournament, also had 20-point games in victories over A.L. Brown and Northwest Cabarrus.
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GOLLY, MOLLY: South senior Molly Garrett has been one of the county’s most improved players in the early going and a terror on the offensive glass.
She had six rebounds, including three consecutive stickbacks, in the first quarter against East.
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MAY DAY: May doesn’t shoot many 3s, so the one she made against West to turn a 48-47 deficit into a 50-48 lead with 47 seconds left surprised everyone.
“They didn’t come out on me,” May said with a laugh. “So what the heck.”
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GIRL SCOUTS: Three former Mustangs sat in a row at the West-South game. East coach Karen Brown Garmon, Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer and East assistant coach Danielle Cross Porter were teammates in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Misenheimer and Porter split point guard duties on East’s 19-9 team in 1998. Misenheimer was steady. Porter was the one dribbling behind her back and through her legs every few seconds.
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IN THE HUNT: South senior Hunter Morrison leads county boys in scoring and has accounted for 20 or more points six times.
Morrison has drilled two dozen 3-pointers, but lately teams have preferred to give up 3s while sagging and cutting off his penetration. West did a great job in the first half of an 83-61 victory over the Raiders on Monday.
Where Morrison has really killed teams is by getting to the foul line. South posted nice wins against A.L. Brown and Salisbury, and he lived at the line in those two games. He was 14-for-16 from the stripe against the Hornets and 14-for-15 against the Wonders.
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K.J. WATCH: K.J. Sherrill scored 18 points against South to lift his career total to 1,157.
The 6-foot-7 Charlotte signee is averaging 19.2 points a game and ranks sixth on West’s all-time list.
He moved past 1960s star Roger McSwain (1,138) in a recent 79-35 victory against Carson and broke a tie with recent standout Phillip Williams on Monday.
Snip Keaton, who scored 1,251 points for the Falcons, is the next target.
Jamel Carpenter, a Florida Community College sophomore who ranks No. 3 on West’s all-time scoring list with 1,470 points, was on hand to watch the Falcons play South.
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BLOWOUTS: Unbeaten West got a scare from North Rowan when it blew a big lead before claiming a 60-51 victory, but it’s won its other five games comfortably.
The Falcons have won four times by 22 or more, and it appears likely that a pair of showdowns with a loaded Lake Norman team will decide the NPC title.
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NEW TRICKS: Boys coach Mike Gurley has won three state championships, two at West, so he knows what it takes.
Still, he said he learned quite a bit from watching Scott Young lead the football team to a state title.
“Scott’s an organization guy and a guy who’s big on getting his kids into routines,” Gurley said. “We’ve embraced the football success, and we’re incorporating some things.”
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HOT HORNETS: Salisbury senior Brandon Abel and sophomore Darien Rankin have formed the county’s most potent 1-2 punch, putting up even bigger numbers than West’s senior duo of Sherrill and Kaleb Kimber.
Abel and Rankin are both averaging more than 17 points per game. Abel, the Christmas tourney MVP last year, has 935 career points.
As the No. 2 seed, the Hornets get three games in the Christmas tournament, so Abel has a legitimate chance to hit the 1,000-point milestone at Catawba.
Only seven players in the storied history of Boyden and Salisbury have scored 1,000 points.
Boyden’s Eddie Kesler, a North Carolina football standout, and Frank McRae, a Wake Forest baseball star, accomplished the feat along with modern-era stalwarts Bobby Phillips, Bobby Jackson, Bryan Withers, Fred Campbell and Shamari Spears.
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STREAK: Salisbury has won eight straight since an opening loss at South Rowan, and seven of the victories were by double digits.
Traditionally slow starters, the Hornets appear headed for their first 20-win season since 1994.
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NEW LOOK: East Rowan’s boys aren’t shooting the ball well, but they’ve rebounded strongly enough to be competitive against everyone except Salisbury, and they’ve split eight games.
East is averaging 55.5 points a game, down from 71.0 per game last season.
The Mustangs have shot only 16.3 percent from behind the arc. Caleb Allen leads the team with four 3s.
East is getting layup opportunities. Daniel Plummer has topped 20 points three times, and Brian Grohman is connecting on 63 percent from the floor.
Plummer averages 7.3 boards per game, and Grohman pulls down 6.6.

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