Salisbury girls 80, South Rowan 16
By David Shaw
You don’t need an advanced degree in mathematics from MIT to analyze the numbers Salisbury’s starting five put up against South Rowan on Wednesday.
Playing just the first and third quarters of an 80-16 victory, the Hornets’ first unit was unstoppable.
“Everybody in the state knows how good Salisbury is,” said first-year SR coach Jarrod Smith. “They’re defending state champs and they’re probably better than they were last year. We did not expect what they did to us in the first and third quarters.”
Salisbury (7-0) outscored the Raiders 30-0 in the first period and 27-4 in the third. That afforded coach Andrew Mitchell ample opportunity to use his second stringers, who handled South 23-12 the rest of the night.
“What amazes me,” Mitchell said, “is that we’re a team with a lot of scorers, but we’re willing to pass the ball around and look for the best shot. It’s always a pleasure to see them willing to share.”
Of course, the usual suspects did their share of damage. Bubbles Phifer had 15 points, eight steals and seven assists. Jessica Heilig contributed 14 points and nine rebounds. And Ashia Holmes was good for 12 points and six steals.
But this was a night for Salisbury’s bench players to make some noise. Eboni Feamster scored the basket that gave the hosts a 34-0 lead early in the second quarter. Isis Miller snatched nine rebounds and tallied five points. Even Hannah Lebowitz, who finished with five points, knocked down her first career 3-pointer when she banked in a long ball from the right side with six minutes to play.
“It was a little bit lucky,” she said with a post-game smile. “But I’m glad I took the shot.”
Lebowitz had a front-row seat to Salisbury’s opening quarter, a period that had more breakouts than a minimum-security prison.
“I saw a lot of people making smart passes and taking smart shots,” she said.
Heilig put on a layup clinic, driving from both the left and right sides of the lane on power moves. She had 12 points in the first quarter.
Phifer was most prolific in the third, when Salisbury extended a 42-5 halftime lead. She scored on a hook shot, a set shot, a couple of layups and finally a 3-pointer from the right side that made it 69-9.
“They’re very unselfish and ó let’s face it ó very fast,” Smith said after South had 32 turnovers. “We did not expect their half-court press to be that good. We know they’ve got a good full-court press, but half-court? You’re not gonna beat anybody with 32 turnovers.”
If anything, the Hornets could use a stiff challenge. They’ll likely get one Friday night at Concord.
“Coach (Joe) Pinyan and I were discussing that at halftime,” Mitchell said. “A lot of these teams we’re playing are not that bad. We’re just doing all the things you need to pull away from them.”
south ROWAN (16) ó Goins 6, Caple 3, Morrow 2, Barringer 2, Swartz 2, Stancil 1, Miller, Lookabill, Sides, Corriher, Webber, Waldrup.
SALISBURY (80) ó Phifer 15, Heilig 14, As.Holmes 12, Ay.Holmes 10, Rankin 6, Lebowitz 5, Miller 5, Young 4, Richardson 4, Allison 3, Feamster 2, Woods.
S. Rowan 0 5 4 7 ó 16
Salisbury 30 12 27 11 ó 80