Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 64, West Davidson 33
By Ronnie Gallagher
Was it really just a week ago that last-place West Davidson had first-place Salisbury on the ropes before losing by just five points?
No one wouldíve believed it who witnessed Salisburyís 64-33 pasting of the Green Dragons on Friday night in the Salisbury gym. The Hornets were motivated and energized for the second matchup.
Tion McCain, subbing at point guard for John Knox, who was on a football recruiting trip, said Salisbury (12-4, 5-0) had something to prove after it eked out a 66-61 victory in Tyro.
ěWe had to come out and play like we know,î he said.
The big men certainly did their part. Jarrett Rivens and Alex Weant, a couple of 6-foot-7 trees, dominated from the start. They combined for 24 points and 24 rebounds.
ěThey did a lot better job rebounding tonight,î Salisbury coach Justin Morgan said. ěThey compete with each other to see who gets the most rebounds.î
After several putbacks, Rivens had six boards in the first two minutes. The first two Hornet baskets were by Rivens and Weant and it was an indication of what was to come.
ěThey did a real good job on the boards,î West Davidson coach Russ Snyder said. ěEarly on, it was obvious they were trying to get the ball inside to the big guys. They were getting second, third and fourth shots. Theyíre bigger than us. But thatís no excuse. You still have to get a body on them.î
There were plenty of Hornet bodies around the ball all night long. McCain led a defensive charge that produced 11 steals.
In fact, the Hornets held West Davidson (4-9, 0-4) scoreless from the field in the second quarter as the Green Dragons managed just four free throws.
West had no one in double figures with three Green Dragons leading the way with six each. Every time they looked up, there was a Hornet in their face.
ěWe did a good job of switching defenses and doing some different things,î Morgan said. ěWe did a good job communicating.î
Salisbury guards finished this game off in the second quarter.
Forrest Wilkins began a 20-4 run with two long 3s. Corey Murphy banked in a trey and B.J. Woods swished one from downtown. It was 33-10 at halftime.
ěThey made some outside shots they didnít make last time,î Snyder said. ěWe played well in the first game at home, but tonight was a different story.î
A big reason for the offensive output was the level head of McCain, who directed the Hornets.
ěIím used to it,î shrugged the junior. ěIíve been playing point guard since I was 10.î
Morgan said he was the perfect stand-in for Knox.
ěTionís kinda cool,î Morgan smiled. ěHeís always at a calm level. Thatís good to have in a basketball player.î
It was 50-20 after three quarters and Morgan played plenty of his subs. It was an impressive display all the way around for Salisbury.
ěTheyíve got two 6-7 guys, a slew of guards they bring off the bench, Rankin, Romar (Morris) … theyíve got a lot of weapons.î Snyder said. They played to their strengths.î
Which is something Salisbury didnít do last week.
ěWe had a little bit of a letdown and really wasnít up for the game,î Morgan admitted. ěSometimes on the road, you can put yourself in a tough spot. But the last couple of games the guys have come out and responded. We just need to stay focused and not have anymore letdowns the rest of the year.î
NOTES: Knox, a quarterback, was visiting Northwood University in Michigan, a Division II school. … Sophomore Tyler Petty, yet another 6-7 Hornet, suffered an ankle injury. He has injured both ankles in the last two games. … Darien Rankin scored just two points and has only eight in his last two games. But he still had two blocks, four steals and four rebounds. … Thereís no break for the Hornets, who go to Thomasville today. The doubleheader begins at 3 p.m.
WEST DAVIDSON (33)ó McCandies 6, Cameron 6, Teague 6, Baynard 5, Moore 5, Bradley 3, Hoover 2.
SALISBURY (64) ó Rivens 15, Murphy 10, Wilkins 10, Weant 9, Woods 6, Adams 4, Duncan 3, Morris 3, McCain 2, Rankin 2, Petty.
W. Dav. 6 4 10 13 ó 33
Salisbury 13 20 17 14 ó 64