Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 60, Robinson 58: Nunn wins it at buzzer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 7, 2011

By Ronnie Gallagher
SALISBURY — Robinson had Salisbury right where it wanted it — in a tie game late.
Tony Nunn was not where the Bulldogs wanted him — under the basket from point-blank range.
In a wild finish Tuesday night, Buster Hillie broke the press, and ended up finding the 6-8, 270-pound Nunn underneath. It took two tries, but his putback finished off Robinson for a 60-58 victory.
It shouldn’t have come to that. Salisbury used a good run in the third quarter and was on the foul line, up 58-54 in the final seconds. A miss set up two quick steals and with 17.3 seconds remaining, it was 58-all, forcing Salisbury coach Jason Causby to call time.
“I wanted to make sure we inbounded first and foremost,” he said. “We were hoping Buster had the ball.”
Causby also knew Robinson coach Joe Pike would have his Bulldogs trapping after the ball crossed halfcourt.
“We had done a horrible job all night coming across midcourt and picking up our dribble,” Causby said.
“I thought we had an opportunity to take the ball when they got across halfcourt,” Pike said. “They scooted by us.”
Nunn’s big mitts corraled a pass with three seconds left. He missed the first layup attempt, grabbed the rebound and stuck it back in at the horn.
“I missed the first one,” Nunn smiled, “but I had to force myself to get the next one.”
Nunn, who led all scorers with 18 points — 12 in the second half — grabbed Hillie for a postgame hug afterward.
“That’s a big target,” grinned point guard Hillie, who finished with nine points. “Nobody can do anything with him.”
Pike was disappointed it didn’t go into overtime. His guards had kept Robinson (2-2) in it with relentless pressure, forcing key turnovers, and felt he had more depth.
But it didn’t happen because of Nunn.
“It was great competition,” Nunn said. “But we’re always going to play 150 percent.”
The Hornets (3-0) found themselves in a fight from the beginning. Early in the second half, there had already been seven lead changes.
Robinson scored the first eight points of the second period before Nunn’s slam dunk led a comeback. DeJoun Jones, who scored 11, B.J. Woods, J’Quille Tracey and Hillie all scored and the Hornets led 33-30 at the half.
Salisbury is undefeated, but that doesn’t mean much to Causby, who wants better halfcourt offense.
“Everybody expects us to be good and we will be,” said Causby. “Right now, we’re a huge work in progress, learning roles and how to play with each other. I’m not frustrated. I just don’t understand it.”
But as Causby and the rest of the gym found out Tuesday night: when all else fails, get it to the big fella.
ROBINSON (58) — Koerner 17, Hampton 14, Lowe 10, Barnes 6, Smith 5, Azenburger 4, Tucker 2.
SALISBURY (60) — Nunn 18, Jones 11, Hillie 9, McCain 8, Tracey 6, Petty 4, Woods 2, Duncan 2, Robertson, Griffin, Adams.
Robinson 14 16 10 18 — 58
Salisbury 15 18 11 16 — 60