Salisbury girls 69, North Rowan 16
By David Shaw
SPENCER ó Andrew Mitchell insists the Salisbury girls basketball team hasn’t hit its stride.
But it was hard to believe him Tuesday night, when the visiting Hornets turned their second game of the season into a layup drill and routed North Rowan, 69-16.
“It’s hard to tell how good we can be,” Mitchell said. “We have a tough game on Saturday against Mount Tabor. We’ll know more after that.”
Eleven players scored for Salisbury (2-0), the defending 2A state champion. SHS spent the evening perfecting doorstep layups and short set shots, finishing 31-for-57 (54 percent) from the field.
“We’re doing pretty good for a brand new team,” said leading scorer Ayanna Holmes. “Farther on, we’ll become a lot stronger. We still have to get a couple of new players more involved.”
One of them ó sophomore Doreen Richardson ó helped Salisbury build an 18-3 first-quarter lead when she swiped a pass in the backcourt, raced in for a layup and completed a 3-point play with a free throw.
It was 33-3 before Teaunna Cuthbertson made North’s first field goal, a 3-pointer with 2:40 remaining in the first half.
“This game was nothing close to what I was hoping for,” Cavs coach Tony Hillian said after North dropped its season-opener. “We were giving the ball away, not making any shots and not playing defense. This wasn’t the team I’ve been coaching all summer.”
Halfway through, Mitchell was pleased with Salisbury’s big lead but not its lack of aggressiveness. “We had 17 turnovers and 11 fouls,” he said. “So I told them they’re gonna run 28 wind sprints if they don’t go out in the third quarter and turn things around.”
How does a 28-0 third period sound? Holmes and Bubbles Phifer knocked down 3-pointers. Olivia Rankin converted a pair of free throws. And another 10 layups put Salisbury ahead 61-9. Both coaches agreed to play with a running clock in the fourth quarter.
“That’s how it’s gonna be every game,” Jessica Heilig said after shooting 4-for-6 from the floor. “We all look for each other and try to help out. That’s what motivates us.”
Hillian thinks its something else. “They’re trying to get that second ring,” he said. “And they’re off and running again.”
NOTES: Phifer led the SHS defense with seven steals. … Ashia Holmes shot 5-for-7 and had five assists while Ayanna Holmes was 6-for-10 from the field and made five steals. … Saturday’s game begins at 2:30 p.m. at High Point Central High School.
salisbury (69) ó Ay. Holmes 13, As. Holmes 10, Phifer 9, Heilig 9, Rankin 8, Richardson 6, Allison 4, Feamster 4, Woods 2, Miller 2, Young 2, Lebowitz.
north rowan (16) ó Cuthbertson 6, Roberts 5, Davis 5, Berry, Brown, Turner, Bush, Bagley, Turner.
Salisbury 18 15 28 8 ó 69
N. Rowan 3 6 0 7 ó 16