Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 62, West Davidson 59

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 6, 2009

By David Shaw
Anyone who wants to play follow the leader in the CCC will have to line up behind Salisbury.Just don’t puff your chest too proudly around Jason Causby. The fifth-year head coach had nothing nice to say Tuesday after a 62-59 win over visiting West Davidson ó and he said it loud and clear.
“It doesn’t matter if we’re in first place,” he said after the league-leading Hornets made things difficult for themselves. “It’s early January. If we lose the rest of our games, we’ll be in last place.”
Granted, Salisbury (13-1, 4-0) did not play its ‘A’ game against the Green Dragons (6-5, 0-3). But it found a way to wipe out an 11-point first-quarter deficit before stumbling across the finish line with its 13th straight victory.”We came out with no intensity, playing lackadaisical,” senior Thaddeus Williams said. “We took them way too lightly. We didn’t think they were gonna punch us in the mouth at first.”
They did ó and the Dragons didn’t serve any cookies with that punch. A fastbreak layup by Jon Jarvis and a free throw by Jordan Hudson put the guests ahead 15-4 with 2:26 remaining in the opening period.
It took sophomore Darien Rankin’s baseline layup with 18 seconds left to give the Hornets a 29-27 lead at the break.
“We had no defensive discipline,” Causby said. “We weren’t containing our space like we were supposed to. We have a drill we do every day ó every basketball team in America that’s any good runs a shell drill. We do it every day, sometimes multiple times a day. It teaches you the principles of help-side defense. But everything that we practiced so hard that we work on so much went out the window tonight. What’s frustrating me is I can’t tell you why.”
Kindly excuse Causby for not recognizing his team.
Salisbury hadn’t allowed this many points in a game since its season opener, a 75-72 loss to South Rowan.
“We just weren’t into it tonight,” Salisbury guard John Knox said. “We weren’t doing the fundamentals.”
Salisbury spent most of the night swimming against the current.
It trailed throughout the third quarter but pulled even when Jahaan Hailey’s 3-pointer from left side tied the score at 47-all entering the final period. When Hailey drilled another 3-pointer early in the fourth ó this one off a set play ó Salisbury had a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
“Those were big shots,” Knox said. “The first one tied it, and the second one broke it. After that, we just had to keep hustling.”
The Hornets sealed the verdict when Hailey converted both ends of a one-and-one with 49.3 seconds to play, providing an eight-point edge.
West Davidson closed the scoring on Hudson’s 3-point bank shot with nine seconds to go and used a turnover to get the game’s final shot ó a 45-foot heave by Hudson as time expired.
“Hey, we had a chance,” said West Davidson coach Russ Snyder, a Salisbury resident. “You can’t ask for more than that. We led most of the night and we really battled, but we were playing a real good team tonight.”
Causby had a different take.
“I’m very disappointed in our effort tonight,” he said. “I expected more.”

NOTES: Salisbury sank only 7 of 26 free throws. … Salisbury senior Brandon Abel scored six points ó all in the first half ó and needs 19 to reach 1,000 for his career. His next chance comes Friday at Lexington. … Williams led SHS with 16 points.
west davidson (59) ó Jarvis 19, Hudson 16, King 10, Stephens 8, Cameron 5, Moore 1.salisbury (62) ó Williams 16, Hailey 14, Rankin 10, Abel 6, Knox 5, Lingard 4, Phillips 3, Weant 2, Morris 2.
W. Davidson 17 10 20 12 ó 59
Salisbury 12 17 18 15 ó 62