Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 65, North Rowan 32
By Mike London
SALISBURY — Salisbury’s Brielle Blaire made an athletic steal by tipping the ball down the floor and cruised in for an uncontested layup
That’s how most of Saturday night went. It was almost like the Hornets were on the court by themselves in Catawba’s Goodman Gym, just practicing layups.
They crushed North Rowan 65-32, and it was even more one-sided than it sounds. The Cavaliers led 5-0 at the start and won the fourth quarter. But there was also a stretch of 18 minutes in which the Hornets (7-1) mauled the Cavaliers 56-9.
“It was frustrating,” North coach Tony Hillian said. “We missed so many layups and we struggled at the foul line. We just didn’t have enough effort.”
Salisbury coach Chris McNeil put an unusual starting five on the floor, one that didn’t include Blaire.
“We put a group out there that worked very hard in the West Rowan game,” he explained. “Just part of developing this team’s chemistry.”
North (4-3) got several steals from Tinka Bush to take that early 5-0 lead. McNeil considered calling a timeout.
“I was about to, but Doreen Richardson (Salisbury’s only senior) pulled things together for us,” McNeil said. “I say what I need to say, but I also let her do some talking. She’s embraced a leadership role.”
Richardson, who scored 11, said she wasn’t overly worried about spotting the Cavaliers a few buckets.
“The girls that we had in there we don’t look at them as second-stringers — we look at them as our help-group,” she said. “We know they can go out there and win games.”
After struggling for two minutes or so, the Hornets got their transition game going and ran off 15 straight points to take charge.
In the second quarter, the Hornets put together a spree of 19 unanswered. Then they opened the second half with a 12-0 run to lead by 42.
“We were rebounding well, and we were looking up the floor and finding a lot of points,” McNeil said.
Blaire sat down early but still had 16 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, three steals and three assists.
North got some late offense from Demeria Robinson, Anna Lingle, Desiree Rincon and Tenesha Dickerson.
“They played excellent and made the final score look not quite so bad,” Hillian said.
NORTH ROWAN (32) — Robinson 8, Dickerson 8, Lingle 4, Rincon 3, Bradley 3, Bush 3, Brown 2, Cuthbertson 1, Sells, Vann.
SALISBURY (65) — Blaire 16, Richardson 11, Caldwell 10, Harris 9, Connor 6, Usry 5, A. Blaire 3, Lattimore 3, Harmon 2.
N. Rowan 6 8 6 12 — 32
Salisbury 20 24 14 7 — 65