Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 59, East Davidson 46
By Mike London
Salisbury’s boys got time off as a reward for winning the Sam Moir Christmas Classic, but leisure hours probably will be curtailed after a bumpy 59-45 league victory against East Davidson.
“Coach gave us two days off, and then we came in for a shootaround today,” forward Dominique Phillips said with a sigh. “But that’s probably not going to happen again.”
The Hornets, who won their 12th straight game, played in spurts. There were stretches where they looked worthy of their No. 6 ranking in 2A and also stretches where they looked like the No. 6 team in the CCC.
Darien Rankin scored 14 points to lead Salisbury (12-1, 3-0). Brandon Abel added 11.
Coach Jason Causby watched both his workhorses go down for a while. Rankin banged his head on the floor. Abel wrenched a knee.
“Darien’s back has been flaring up, and then he hit his head hard early and there was some lingering effect,” Causby said. “When Brandon went down (second quarter), I figured we’d lost him for weeks and maybe for the season.
“He said something popped in his knee, but he felt fine at halftime and wanted to play, and his uncle said it was OK.”
Rankin’s soaring block led to a fastbreak dunk by Abel early in the second quarter. That sequence gave the Hornets an 8-0 run and a 26-10 lead. A blowout loomed.
But reserve Christian Clark provided a spark for the Golden Eagles (2-8, 0-2). He scored seven quick points, and Salisbury’s lead was chopped to 31-24 at the half.
“CCC teams are scrappy,” Causby said. “East Davidson played us tough last year, and they have the opportunity to beat us if we don’t play well.”
Causby got that point across at halftime.
“He said we needed to put the Christmas tournament behind us and win this one,” Phillips said. “He said exactly what we needed to hear. He got our heads back in it.”
After East Davidson’s Kyle Branson scored the first bucket of the second half, Salisbury settled the issue with a convincing 10-0 run.
“Salisbury is one heck of a team, and you just can’t give them an inch,” East Davidson coach Matt Jacobs said. “You crack the door, they knock it down. They’re athletic, they play this game right and they’re poised for a serious run. Jason deserves that. He’s worked his butt off.”
East davidson (45) ó Clark 12, Dodd 9, Branson 9, Hawks 5, Michael 5, Palmer 4, Atoob 1, Diamond, Mouzon.salisbury (59) ó Rankin 14, Abel 11, Morris 8, Phillips 6, Knox 6, Weant 6, Hailey 4, Williams 2, Lingard 2, Do, Wood.
E. Davidson 10 14 9 12 ó 45
Salisbury 18 13 16 12 ó 59