CCC Boys Final: Salisbury 49, Lexington 40

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 17, 2012

By Mike London
TYRO — Salisbury senior Tion McCain clutched the shiny CCC tournament championship plaque to his chest, and teammate B.J. Woods had something to say.
“The ’Bury is back!” Woods whooped, as he headed to a jubilant locker room.
Raise your hand if you saw this one coming.
Salisbury’s boys are champions. They got a fantastic effort from Tyler Petty (15 points, 12 rebounds) and beat top-seeded Lexington 49-40 on Friday night in the neutral West Davidson gym. The Hornets avenged a pair of regular-season setbacks to the Jackets (14-10) and earned unexpected hardware as well as momentum for the 2A playoffs.
“I probably should be feeling more ecstatic than I do right now, but I’ve been here before,” Salisbury coach Jason Causby said. “The best part of this night for me was getting to see how excited our kids are.”
Salisbury limped out of the Moir Christmas tournament with a 4-7 record, and the Hornets were 7-12 not that long ago after a dismal home loss to Thomasville.
For a good chunk of this season, Salisbury (13-13) had far more suspensions than victories, but it’s peaking at the right time.
“We really want to show people what we’re all about,” said defensive whiz Da’Quan Robertson.
This is not a typical pressing, high-flying, fast-paced SHS team.
“There’s not much flash to us, but we’ve bought into being a deliberate team,” Causby said. “We’re a pretty good zone team, usually holding teams in the 40s by limiting them to one outside shot and getting the rebound.”
Salisbury got those rebounds last night off Lexington’s frequent misfires from outside. Not just Petty, but also big Tony Nunn, whose presence inside far outweighed his modest statistical output.
Salisbury started man-to-man, but quickly switched to its 2-3 zone, with the 6-foot-8 Nunn looming in the paint.
“It was a tight zone,” Robertson said. “They missed, and we rebounded. That was the gameplan.”
Salisbury trailed 12-11 after the first quarter, but it went up 24-21 at halftime.
Salisbury was strong in the third quarter, shutting out Lexington’s high-scoring C.J. Woodberry, who had put in 11 in the first half. When Robertson, a 6-foot senior, skied to reject a shot by the 6-5 Woodberry, it created momentum, and the noise level in the gym multiplied when Petty drove and slam-dunked for a 38-30 lead after three quarters.
“I had a dunk in a game last year, but there were only about five people in the gym,” said Petty, who was sidelined recently for a concussion. “It was great to finally dunk in front of a big crowd.”
Keith Horton drilled two 3s for Lexington early in the fourth quarter, and his layup with five minutes left tied the game at 40-40. But the Hornets didn’t blink. They kept rebounding, and Lexington didn’t score again. Kalil Duncan’s free throw after an offensive board put the Hornets back on top, and Petty’s layup (McCain found him wide open) and flying tip-in put them on the path to a title.
“We couldn’t make shots,” Lexington coach Robert Hairston said. “But you also have to give a lot of credit to Salisbury. They played with great intensity.”
Salisbury was playing in the CCC tournament final for the sixth straight season. Remarkably, it’s won five of them.
In nine of the last 10 seasons, the Hornets have won either the CCC tournament, the regular-season title — or both.
“We have tradition,” Causby said. “I’m very proud this year’s team is part of it.”
SALISBURY (49) — T. Petty 15, Adams 7, Nunn 6, Canipe 5, McCain 5, Woods 4, Duncan 3, Robertson 2, J. Petty 2.
LEXINGTON (40) — Woodberry 11, McLean 8, Horton 8, Lewis 5, Covington 4, Byrd 2, Hoover 2.
Salisbury 11 13 14 11 — 49
Lexington 12 9 9 10 — 40