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Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 74, West Rowan 34

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — Salisbury’s Brielle Blaire was held to a season-low 11 points, but it hardly mattered.
Her teammates chased West Rowan right out of the gym and into the parking lot in a 74-34 laugher. The Hornets were fast enough, deep enough and relentless enough on Wednesday to make a pretty good West team look pretty bad.
“We knew they would focus on Brielle,” winning coach Chris McNeil said. “She sacrificed and she and her teammates executed the gameplan very well.”
Several college coaches were in attendance in the Salisbury gym because the versatile Blaire and 6-foot-2 West junior Shay Steele are exciting prospects.
Steele flashed glimpses of what she can do with nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, but this one was basically over at halftime with the Hornets leading 35-13.
West (2-3) had a brutal first half, shooting 16 percent, turning it over 14 times and getting smashed 34-14 on the boards.
“Rebounding has been our biggest problem every game,” West coach Todd McNeely said. “We’re giving up 20 second-chance points a night, and you can’t win doing that. Hopefully, we’ll start taking more pride in our rebounding.”
Alison Sobataka provided the defensive work on Blaire, but Blaire can do other things besides score. She had 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Daterria Connor piled up 13 points on stickbacks and transition layups to lead the Hornets (6-1). Doreen Richardson, the only senior, scored a dozen. Ashley Blaire, Brielle’s little sister, contributed nine efficient points.
“We cut our turnovers, we scrapped on the boards and we ran the floor the best we have all year,” McNeil said. “We’ve been winning games, but our confidence level has gone up and down. Tonight, I think a lot of the young girls built up their confidence.”
West had its only semi-run when it cut Salisbury’s lead to 40-25 in the third quarter on a layup by Brittany Barber, but the Hornets regained control.
“We basically have a new team this year, and it takes time to come together,” Richardson said. “But we’re starting to get the hang of each other. We had a lot of fun out there tonight.”
Nycieko Dixon scored 15 points for West, but the fun was minimal for the Falcons.
The Hornets won their 38th straight against county foes. Salisbury has won 11 straight against West since Brittany Roberson led the Falcons to a 61-59 overtime win in 2004.
WEST ROWAN (34) — Dixon 15, Steele 9, Barber 6, Sobataka 2, Dutton 2, Ball, Harrington, Hunter, Cross, Ramsue, Laney, Miller, James,
SALISBURY (74) — Connor 13, Richardson 12, B. Blaire 11, A. Blaire 9, Lattimore 8, Harmon 7, Usry 4, Angle 4, Harris 4, Caldwell 2.
W. Rowan 8 5 16 5 — 34
Salisbury 17 18 13 26 — 74

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