Moir Christmas Classic: Salisbury girls 79, East Rowan 44

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 27, 2011

By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — Whether or not Salisbury started its ninth straight Moir Christmas Classic Tournament championship run on Tuesday remains to be seen, but the Hornets got a vote from East Rowan.
Salisbury defeated East 79-44 behind double figures scoring from Brielle Blaire, Vashti Usry and Doreen Richardson.
The Hornets used their quickness in the backcourt to cause 25 turnovers, which were as good as two points just about every time. The holiday lull was not apparent for Salisbury, who scored 37 points off East’s mistakes.
“Conditioning-wise, we looked great,” Salisbury coach Chris McNeil said. “Coming off a break, that’s always a concern. They’re playing on a college court, but I was impressed.”
Salisbury (9-2) continues its march today against West Rowan. The Hornets beat West 59-44 last week in Mount Ulla and 74-34 at home.
The Mustangs took early leads of 5-2 and 8-6, but Usry canned a 3 from the corner for a 9-8 edge and the Hornets never trailed again. A game that was tied at 6 midway through the first quarter saw Salisbury go on a 15-4 run and lead 21-10 eight minutes in.
“We executed well,” McNeil said. “We played a good game, but could have done better with our free throws.”
Salisbury was 9 of 18 from the line.
Usry, coming off a solid game against West Rowan, scored 18 points and snagged three steals. The junior went 6 of 8 from the foul line.
“Tonight, Vashti Usry found her groove,” McNeil said. “The game spoke a lot for her.”
Blaire had her 11th straight game in double figures with 19 points. Richardson scored 12 on 6 of 9 shooting.
East’s Karleigh Wike had a double double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Kelli Fisher led the Mustangs with 12 points.
East Rowan fell to 1-10 and will face Davie County today at noon.
“The unwarranted turnovers are what’s killing me right now,” East coach Danielle Porter said. “They’re young and they need more experience. But at some point, somebody’s got to handle the ball for us.”
Salisbury scored the final 12 points of the first half to lead 43-20 at the break. The Hornets led 59-32 at the end of the third.
EAST ROWAN (44) — Fisher 12, Wike 10, Poole 9, Gullett 5, Gobble 3, Brown 2, Lowe 2, Sides 1, Fry.
SALISBURY (79) — B. Blaire 19, Usry 18, Richardson 12, A. Blaire 7, Harris 6, Connor 6, Caldwell 5, Lattimore 4, Angle 2, Harmon.
E. Rowan 10 10 12 12 — 44
Salisbury 21 22 16 20 — 79