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Prep basketball: Salisbury girls 79, East Rowan 30

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
GRANITE QUARRY ó Salisbury’s girls dressed only nine and played for the third straight night, but they never paused for breath in a 79-30 breeze past East Rowan on Thursday.
“It was four games in six days, so I kind of kept waiting for us to wear down,” Salisbury coach Andrew Mitchell said. “But the girls kept on running. One of our goals was to be the best-conditioned team in the state, and we’ve progressed. This was a very good test of our toughness, especially our mental toughness.”
Salisbury (6-0) dressed only nine because three reserves were late for the bus trip to Granite Quarry, but five would’ve been plenty.
The Hornets led 25-5 after a quarter and 40-6 at halftime against a new-look East team that has played a killer schedule, including two pummelings from the Hornets.
It was 80-31 when the teams met in Salisbury.East also was on the court for the third straight evening, and three losses in three nights isn’t much fun.
“We’re rebuilding and still trying to find our groove,” said East coach Karen Garmon, whose program graduated two 1,000-point scorers. “Not to make an excuse, but it’s very apparent how tough our schedule has been. The girls are trying. They’re working. We’ve just got to keep our heads up and learn from the pressure teams are putting on us right now. If we can keep our confidence, this is going to help us for conference.”Besides Salisbury, East (0-5) has taken on SPC contenders Concord and Hickory Ridge as well as undefeated Davie. It played well at Concord, scoring 60 points. Otherwise, the games have been one-sided.
Besides forcing a racehorse pace, Salisbury got every rebound, swished six 3-pointers and limited the Mustangs to eight field goals.
“To play this well so early, I just feel blessed,” Mitchell said. “It’s like I’m dreaming, and I’m afraid someone’s going to wake me up.”
Bubbles Phifer, the only senior in the starting lineup, hit three 3s, scored 19 points and finished with six steals. Jessica Heilig was great, scoring a career-high 17 points and bouncing for 15 rebounds.
“She’s so quick off her feet,” Mitchell said. “Last year, she just wanted to block shots. Now she loves to rebound.”
Heilig, who improved by jumping rope and participating in AAU competition over the summer, has a sense of humor as solid as her vertical jump.
“I just felt the intensity tonight, and everyone’s spirit was up,” she said. “I try to get better every game, but I’m still missing some layups. That’s because sometimes my hands are doing the opposite of my head.”
Doreen Richardson tossed in 12 points off the bench for the Hornets. Madalyn File led East with seven.
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NOTES: Olivia Sabo scored 10 points for East in a 54-32 loss at Hickory Ridge on Wednesday.
SALISBURY (79) ó Phifer 19, Heilig 17, Richardson 12, Ay. Holmes 10, Rankin 8, As. Holmes 6, Miller 5, Lebowitz 2, Feamster.
East ROWAN (30) ó File 7, Holshouser 6, Sabo 5, Honeycutt 4, Dunlap 3, Corpening 2, Drew 2, Vanderford 1, A. Boling, B. Boling, Means, Eagle.
Salisbury 25 15 27 12 ó 79
East Rowan 5 1 9 15 ó 30

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