Prep Basketball: Salisbury boys 55, East Davidson 41

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 10, 2012

By Mike London
SALISBURY — Salisbury’s boys got a big fourth quarter from Tony Nunn, unlimited energy from John Canipe and 13 points from Tion McCain and beat East Davidson 55-41 on Senior Night.
The Golden Eagles made it interesting. They got hot from deep and sliced a 19-point deficit down to seven, but Nunn’s late production kept the Hornets from losing all of their lead.
“I was shocked when they started hitting all those shots,” Nunn said. “But we did enough to keep them from catching up.”
Friday’s win gave the Hornets (10-13, 6-4) a tie for second place with Central Davidson and extended their run of finishing first or second in the CCC to nine consecutive seasons.
“That may not mean a lot to our guys right now, but I think it will down the road,” SHS coach Jason Causby said. “It was important to me because we’ve been first or second every year since I’ve been here. A lot of our streaks have come and gone this year, but I really wanted to keep this one going.”
Like Salisbury, East Davidson’s roster was largely wiped out by 2011 graduation ceremonies. The Golden Eagles (5-17, 1-9) finished in the basement.
“We knew we couldn’t improve ourselves in the standings no matter what happened tonight,” ED coach Matt Jacobs said. “But we did want to improve. In the second half, we did that. It’s something to build on.”
East Davidson struggled against Salisbury’s 2-3 zone in the first half. Post man Taylor Booze had 10 points, but his frigid teammates collectively had two, and Salisbury led comfortably 29-12.
“Canipe started our surge in that first half,” Causby said. “He has a knack for being around the ball He kind of makes you hold your breath, but he usually makes something positive happen.”
Salisbury had a cold-shooting third quarter — 5-for-14 — and Booze kept his team in the game by scoring 10 more points.
When Keion Adams made a jumper to open the fourth quarter, the Hornets went ahead 41-25, but then Booze started getting some help. Austin Miller suddenly enjoyed a 10-point quarter, and East Davidson made quite a run.
“When you play East Davidson, you know sooner or later, they’ll make shots,” Causby said. “And when they make one 3, you figure that they’ll make five.”
Salisbury staggered a little bit, but Canipe twice found Nunn inside with nice feeds, Jon Mark Petty made a big stickback and McCain soared for key big rebounds among taller players.
“We let them get some open shots, and then it did get a little scary,” Adams said. “But we had to win this one for the seniors.”
Jacobs came away very impressed with Nunn.
“He’s got a huge body and some great hands, and we had to double him whenever he got the ball,” he said. “It’s not like he dominated the game or anything, but he helped their shooters get open looks, and Salisbury made enough outside shots to win. They were a complete team tonight.”
EAST DAVIDSON (41) — Booze 20, Miller 10, Cumpton 3, Swicegood 3, Davis 3, Loman 2, Shetley, Chaney, Craven.
SALISBURY (55) — McCain 13, Nunn 9, Woods 8, Griffin 7, Adams 7, Canipe 7, J. Petty 4, Edwards, Robertson, Duncan.
E. Dav. 6 6 13 16 — 41
Salisbury 14 15 10 16 — 55