Prep Basketball: Salisbury girls 66, Thomasville 62: Hornets clinch another CCC title

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 7, 2012

By Jordan Honeycutt
THOMASVILLE — The Salisbury Hornets had to survive two different types of gashes Tuesday to escape with a 66-62 win and yet another Central Carolina Conference title.
One gash came in the first quarter when guard Vashti Usry went down on the floor after a loose ball.
Usry fell face-down on the court writhing in pain and it wasn’t thought to be too serious until she tried to raise her head up and left a crimson coating on the hardwood.
She was done for the night from the gaping wound.
The second gash was done all by the Bulldogs.
In the second quarter, Salisbury led 22-10. Game over, right?
Wrong. Thomasville gashed the Hornets 21-11 in the quarter to pull within two points at the half.
Then came the familiar sight of No.14 — Brielle Blaire — pouring in buckets at will and leading the charge for Salisbury.
Blaire finished with a ho-hum 30 points and scored four in the final minute to seal the deal.
“We had a gameplan in place and we just completely lost sight of it in that second quarter,” Blaire said. “The 30 points is great but one person can’t win a game. It takes a team effort and tonight, this was a team effort.”
The Bulldogs’ ferocious comeback was sparked by three first-half fouls on Blaire and by their tremendous pressure defense.
“Their press gave us some trouble. It really did,” Salisbury coach Chris McNeil said. “I thought Brielle distributed the ball great tonight in addition to her scoring and I had to tell them to keep passing over the top of their press due to their lack of height.”
The Hornets didn’t help their cause any by missing “gimme” layups and going 10 of 20 from the free-throw line.
Thomasville coach Brandon Staton knew how close his girls had come and was obviously a bit disappointed after the game.
“We sure put forth a lot of effort tonight. I think everything we spent to make the comeback wore us down at the end and Blaire beat us,” Staton said.
SALISBURY (66) — B.Blaire 30, Richardson 12, A.Blaire 7, Caldwell 6, Harmon 4, Lattimore 4, Connor 3, Usry.
THOMASVILLE (62) — Coleman 18, Thomas 16, Lambert 10, Spires 9, Kinley 5, Rowe 3,Ward 1.
Salisbury 22 11 16 17 — 66
Thomasville 10 21 19 12 — 62