Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 63, NW Cabarrus 19

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mike London
With tall Jessica Heilig and taller Olivia Rankin swatting shots, cleaning the glass and sticking in layups, this may be the scariest Salisbury starting five in a long line of scary lineups.
Salisbury scored the first 13 points of Wednesday’s game and the first 25 of the second half to overwhelm visiting Northwest Cabarrus 63-19.
Ashia Holmes had a career-high 17 points. Bubbles Phifer (14), Rankin (10) and Ayanna Holmes (10) also scored in double figures for SHS (5-0).
Salisbury’s girls are 173-15 the last seven seasons mostly because of quickness, but size is nice.
“We do look more to the post now ó pound it in and then pull it out ó so the offense might look a little awkward for a while,” Salisbury junior Ayanna Holmes explained. “But we try not to lose any speed. Speed is still our game.”
Northwest Cabarrus coach Kevin Bryant is a believer. His team ran headlong into a hurricane. Salisbury scored on a set play on the opening tip ó Rankin-to-Ayanna Holmes- to-Ashia Holmes and never looked back. .
“We did a decent job getting the ball up the court, but we couldn’t match their athleticism,” Bryant said. “We’re still trying to find confidence. You’ve got to be able to play your normal game no matter how big and how athletic the people are you’re playing against, and we’re not there yet.”
Everyone has a difficult time playing their normal game against Salisbury, which has won 62 of its last 67 games, with all five losses in that stretch coming against East Davidson.
Brittany Broome finally broke the ice for the Trojans (0-4) when she scored in the paint with 4:20 left in the first quarter to make it 13-2. It was 20-5 by the end of the quarter, with Ashia Holmes accounting for 11 points.
Phifer hit two 3s in the second quarter and Ayanna Holmes made one as the lead expanded to 36-12 at halftime.
“I told Ayanna after Tuesday’s game (a 61-22 victory against West Rowan) that she’d played great, and she looked at me like I was crazy,” Salisbury coach Andrew Mitchell said. “She does so many other things for us that I didn’t realize she hadn’t scored until we saw the zero in the paper. But she can score.”
The Hornets forced 11 turnovers and buried Northwest 25-0 in the third quarter.
“We kept the momentum up after halftime,” Ayanna Holmes said. “Stayed with our defensive assignments.”
Keeping the intensity so high in the third quarter was impressive because the game had been over for quite a while.
“We like to play every single minute as if we’re behind, and when you’re playing for each other like these girls are, it’s easy to keep moving the ball and making the extra pass,” Mitchell said. ”
NW CABARRUS (19) ó Allen 5, Bostick 5, Merriman 4, Herring 2, Broome 2, Pethel 1, Johnson, Blakely, Williams, Jordan.
salisbury (63) ó As. Holmes 17, Phifer 14, Ay. Holmes 10, Rankin 10, Heilig 7, Woods 3, Richardson 2, Young, Lebowitz, Miller, Feamster, Allison.
NW Cabarrus 5 7 0 7 ó 19
Salisbury 20 16 25 2 ó 63