Prep Basketball:Newton-Conover girls 54, Salisbury 37
By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY ó A lot had changed since Salisbury and Newton-Conoverís girls teams had last met.
Since then, the Red Devils had gotten complete enough to play with Salisbury.
And beat them soundly.
Newton-Conover defeated Salisbury 54-37 Wednesday in a rematch of teams that met in the 2A west final last season.
Newton-Conover freshman guard Taylor Petty scored a game-high 16 points and the Red Devils took over in the third quarter to avenge last yearís defeat.
Salisbury coach Chris McNeil, who led the Hornets to their third straight state title last year, accepted responsibility for the loss.
ěI donít think I had them prepared as well as I should have prepared them,î McNeil said. ěWeíre still a young team and that was a playoff-caliber game.î
Salisbury committed 14 turnovers in the first half allowing NC to break out to a 24-18 halftime lead. After tying the game at 16 late in the first half, the Hornets (7-2) went almost six minutes without a field goal, falling behind 29-19 during that span.
ěWeíre starting to hit our groove,î said Newton-Conover coach Ike Williams, who saw his team beat Hickory Tuesday. ěSalisburyís great competition and this is a huge win for us.î
Consecutive baskets from Brielle Blaire made it 34-27, but Petty scored on a steal and transition layup while being fouled. Kadesha Gibbs grabbed the missed free throw and put it back in herself while being fouled for a 3-point play.
NC (7-2) led 45-31 with a quarter left.
ěNo loss is a good loss, but now we know what we need to work on,î McNeil said.
NEWTON-CONOVER (54) ó B. Blaire 15, Richardson 6, B. Connor 5, Angle 4, Ursy 3, A. Blaire 2, D. Connor.
SALISBURY (37) ó Petty 16, Whitener 12, Gibbs 11, Williams 8, Tipps 8, Miller, Vanhorn, Early.
N-Conover 10 14 21 9 ó 54
Salisbury 10 8 13 6 ó 37