Prep Basketball: Concord boys 97, Salisbury 89
By Paul Hershey
CONCORD ó Down by 22 points just minutes into the second quarter, Salisbury’s boys fell into a deep early hole Friday night against 3A power Concord.
The Hornets then spent the next quarter and half slowly climbing their way out, cutting the deficit down to six entering the fourth quarter, but one more Concord flurry was too much for the Hornets to overcome in a 97-89 nonconference loss.
“We felt good if we could get it around eight going to the fourth quarter,” Salisbury head coach Jason Causby said. “I’ll be darned if we didn’t have it down to six. I thought we were rested up and were going to be able to make a run at it, but they came out with another flurry in the first four minutes.”
The Spiders outscored the Hornets 17-5 in the first three and half a minutes to push the lead back up to 18 and put the game away.
“Our guys are going to play hard,” Causby said. “There’s no quit in them, but we just ran into a team that made more shots and got bigger stops tonight than we did.”
Guard Darien Rankin scored 17 of his team-high 26 points in the second half to lead Salisbury (2-3) back. Dominique Phillips totaled 19 points and Jahaan Hailey added 14.
However, that production wasn’t enough to overcome a talented Concord (3-3) team that clicked on all cylinders in putting up 56 first-half points. The Spiders scored the game’s first eight points, then used a 14-0 onslaught overlapping the end of the first and beginning of the second quarters to lead 38-16.
Causby called four timeouts in the first half to try and stop the bleeding, but only the last one seemed to be effective.
“We burned a number of timeouts in the first half but it was just to try and keep them focused and keep them from getting overwhelmed,” he said.
Concord made shots from just about everywhere on the court in shooting 64 percent (23 of 36) from the field in first half.
“We hadn’t shot it like that all year,” Concord head coach Scott Brewer said. “We finished around the basketball a little better tonight. I liked coming in the locker room with 56 at halftime.”
But Brewer also admitted he knew the game wasn’t over “because of the way (Salisbury) can drive. They’re as tough a driving guards as we’ve played.”
The Hornets closed the second quarter by making 11 of their last 15 shots to get within 14. Rankin scored six points in an 11-2 run that made it 63-57 with 2:20 left in the third.
“We got to the rim easier and we made a ton of shots around the rim that we missed in the first half,” Causby said.
It was 68-62 heading to the fourth and Causby had rested the starters hoping to make the final push in the fourth. Instead it went the other way.
Still, it was a test Causby said was good for his team.
“You play against a bunch that were within two minutes and a couple of free throws of being in the state championship last year,” Causby said. “They only graduated two off of that team. They’ve played a buzzsaw of a schedule so they’re a lot more seasoned than we are at this point. So hopefully this game will help season us so we can come back and prepare for our Christmas tournament and then get into conference play.”
salisbury (89) ó Rankin 26, Phillips 19, Hailey 14, Jones 9, Weant 8, Morris 8,McCain 3, Knox 2, Murphy, Petty, Nunn.
concord (97) ó Gridine 26, Templeton 19, Moore 12, Cannaday 12, Stywall 9, Vanderburg 8, Black 7, Jenkins 2, Knorr 2.
Salisbury 16 26 20 27 ó 89
Concord 28 28 12 29 ó 97