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Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 59, Central Davidson 34

By Bret Strelow
bstrelow@salisburypost.comSalisbury coach Jason Causby, with an eye toward the future, discussed the dangers of overlooking Central Davidson as the Hornets prepared to board the team bus following a December rout of the Spartans.Salisbury’s boys fell behind in the opening minutes of the rematch but came out on the winning end of another lopsided result.
The Hornets stayed unbeaten in league play thanks to a 59-34 victory against visiting Central on Friday. Five weeks ago, the Spartans trailed 57-6 in the second half of a 73-21 home loss.”You always know when a good team gets beat and they get beat in the manner that we beat them ó and they are a good team ó they’re going to come back and have some spunk about them and have something to prove,” Causby said. “By no stretch did we think this was going to be an easy game.
“We knew they weren’t going to be an easy out. We said that before we got on the bus over there in December. I thought we withstood their initial push. … It did push us back a little bit, but I don’t think it took us by surprise that we had to weather that storm.”
Brandon Abel scored 16 points and secured eight rebounds as Salisbury (16-1, 7-0 CCC) remained in a first-place tie with Providence Grove. Darien Rankin added 12 points.
Central (13-5, 4-4) made four 3-pointers to establish a 12-3 lead with 90 seconds left in the first quarter, and the Hornets went on a 35-4 run during the next 12 minutes.
Turnovers turned the first game between the schools into a one-sided affair. Salisbury’s pressure had more of a cumulative effect Friday.
The Spartans struggled to hit shots or grab rebounds with center Shawn Davis in early foul trouble.
“We feel like if we can guard ourselves in practice and can trap our guards in practice then there shouldn’t be a whole lot of people we can’t trap and speed up,” Causby said. “I think the run in the second quarter and coming out to start the third, I thought that was strictly us rolling up our sleeves and playing hard-nosed defense.”
Davis was on the bench with two fouls for all but three points of a 24-2 run that closed the half. He left the floor with 1:05 left in the first quarter, which Rankin capped with a three-point play that cut Central’s edge to 12-9.
Salisbury collected 12 of the first 13 rebounds in the second quarter, when the Spartans shot 1-for-16 from the field.
“We were doubling, anticipating passes, doing what we work on in practice,” Abel said. “It’s hard to do, and it involves a whole lot of running.”
Salisbury erased any doubt by starting the third quarter with an 11-2 run that produced a 38-16 lead.
Davis and sharpshooter Trevor Leonard combined for 14 points in the two regular-season games with Salisbury.
Leonard, who managed only two free throws in the first matchup, didn’t scratch Friday. Davis hit an early 3-pointer but didn’t score again until the fourth quarter.
“When Shawn’s not in the game, they take a hit there offensively and defensively and with rebounding on both ends,” Causby said. “We talked about just clamping down on defense. We got some good combinations on the floor that gave us good defensive pressure.
“What I saw, some of the jumpshots they hit early, they were starting to draw a little bit more iron. I think that’s just from the up and down of the game.”
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NOTES: Providence Grove kept pace with a 72-44 win against West Davidson. … Abel, who recently scored the 1,000th point of his career, was presented a commemorative basketball before Friday’s game.CENTRAL DAVIDSON (34) ó Mays 11, Laws 7, Davis 6, Dilley 4, Small 3, Musgrave 3, Leonard, Wright, Brown, Morgan, Everhart, Snider.
SALISBURY (59) ó Abel 16, Rankin 12, Hailey 8, Knox 6, Morris 5, Williams 4, Phillips 4, Weant 2, Lingard 2, Almeida, Wilkins, Do, Wood.C. Davidson 12 2 12 8 ó 34
Salisbury 9 18 20 12 ó 59

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