Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 94, North Rowan 24

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 16, 2009

By Bret Strelow
SPENCER ó Salisbury girls coach Andrew Mitchell liked what he saw in a 94-24 win at North Rowan on Friday. The contents of Thursday’s practice remain more of a mystery.
Absent for most of the session, he let his assistants run the show.
“I’ve got to give big ups to my assistant coaches,” Mitchell said. “Every once in a while the head coach has to go a little crazy, and they did a great job of helping the players see what I was saying was right. The way I said it, get over that.
“(Thursday), I left practice up to the assistants. When I came in, it was running so well, we did one more drill and I let the team go.”
A week that began with lackluster effort ended with a lopsided win for Salisbury (14-1, 5-1 CCC). Mitchell’s move caught Kia Rice by surprise.”I was wondering where he was; he’s always there on time,” Rice said. “It wasn’t like a total shock, but I was like, ‘Where’s coach?’
“It worked out good. As soon as we got there and started practicing, we practiced not necessarily for just this game but for future games to come.”
Bubbles Phifer and Ayanna Holmes scored 12 points apiece Friday. Rice and Ashia Holmes had 11. De’Rya Wylie also reached double figures with 10, and five others finished with at least six.The starters played the odd-numbered quarters, but that did little to even up the matchup for North (2-13, 0-6).
Ashia Holmes, Shi-Heria Shipp and Nene Phifer collected four steals apiece in the first quarter.
Salisbury’s subs, led by Jessica Heilig, blocked seven shots in the second quarter. Rice scored the Hornets’ first 10 points of the period.
“We didn’t have any sad faces, and after some wins we’ve had sad faces,” Mitchell said.
North’s Quon Cuthbertson scored in the first two minutes, but the Cavs didn’t post another field goal in the half. They trailed 50-9 at the break.
First-year North coach Tony Hillian relished the opportunity to compete against Mitchell, his cousin.
“It was a good experience, a good feeling,” Hillian said. “I don’t think he was trying to run the score up. They just played basketball, and that’s all you can ask.”
Mitchell, a North Rowan alum, wouldn’t dare upset a relative.
“I know one day I’ll come back and Coach Hillian will have this team doing very well,” Mitchell said. “He’s an excellent coach.
“I didn’t want to do a whole lot because my aunt is a really good cook, and I didn’t want to break my plate.”
He was referring to the culinary talents of Hillian’s grandmother.”I love her cobblers,” Mitchell said. “Any peach cobbler, apple cobbler, blackberry, black beans and rice, chicken. She does it all.”
SALISBURY (94) ó B.Phifer 12, Ay.Holmes 12, As.Holmes 11, Rice 11, Wylie 10, Clinding 9, Shipp 7, N.Phifer 7, Heilig 7, Miller 6, Young 2.
NORTH ROWAN (24) ó Q.Cuthbertson 8, Roberts 8, Gregory 4, Brown 2, T.Cuthbertson 1, Ellis 1, Torrence, Bethea, Rhinehart.Salisbury 26 24 21 23 ó 94
North Rowan 4 5 6 9 ó 24