Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2013
SALISBURY — Salisbury’s girls have said goodbye to long winning streaks against East Rowan, West Rowan, Central Davidson and Lexington this season, but a few streaks from their decade of dominance remain intact.
The Hornets haven’t lost to South Rowan since the 2002 Christmas Tournament, and that streak is still alive and well after Wednesday’s 63-38 romp at home against the Raiders.
Junior Brielle Blaire stuffed the stat sheet for 25 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and four steals in a dominating performance for the Hornets, and Patreece Lattimore helped out with a career-best 12 points.
Avery Locklear scored 22 for South, but the game was over after the Hornets crushed South 19-3 in the first quarter.
“We had a bad start,” Locklear said. “And we just couldn’t get into it.”
After losing three straight, Salisbury (8-8) needed to beat somebody, and South (4-13), which ended its own nine- game losing streak on Tuesday, was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It’s not like we’re giving up,” Lattimore said. “We’re still playing and we still believe we can have a good season.”
It’s possible. The Hornets did a lot of good things on both ends of the floor on Wednesday. The gym was cold and the crowd was small, but they looked sharp at times.
“The biggest thing was we made our layups tonight,” coach Tony Hillian said. “We were able to run the floor and score in transition, and we played good man-to-man defense that led to instant offense.”
Ashley Blaire, drew the tough defensive assignment on Locklear and limited the high-scoring sophomore to a single field goal in the first quarter as the Hornets took control.
Brielle Blaire scored 10 points in that lopsided first quarter on 5-for-6 shooting, Ashley Blaire pulled down four quick rebounds, Bryanna Caldwell hit a 3-pointer, and Lattimore and Daterria Connor got loose for layups.
It was all those easy transition layups the Hornets were getting that bothered South coach Jarrod Smith.
“Brielle’s going to get her points,” he said. “What really hurt us is there was a two-minute spurt every quarter where we were not only missing shots, we weren’t getting back on defense. It’s OK to miss a shot, but the thing that Salisbury can do well is run the floor, and we gave them layups by taking plays off and not getting back.”
Brielle Blaire had 19 points at halftime, but was more of a distributor than scorer in the second half. She fired some football-ish long passes that hit a streaking Lattimore in stride for layups.
“That wasn’t really in the gameplan, but it there and it was open, so we took it,” Lattimore said.
Locklear enjoyed a hot second quarter, but South couldn’t get anyone else going.
Sylvetta Bost contributed eight points, but Cassidy Chipman, who averages double figures, was held to two.
“I thought we had a great team effort from the ladies tonight,” Hillian said. “Now we’ve just got take this kind of effort into conference play.”
South’s NPC game with West Iredell has been moved up to tonight because of the weather forecast.
Salisbury is scheduled to play Thomasville on Friday and North Rowan on Saturday.
SOUTH ROWAN (38) — Locklear 22, Bost 8, Hubbard 3, Martin 2, Chipman 2, Kam. Stamey 1, Kac. Stamey, Honeycutt, McClendon, Davis.
SALISBURY (63) — B. Blaire 25, Lattimore 12, Caldwell 7, Connor 6, A. Blaire 6, Wolfe 3, Harris 2, Gloster 2, Harmon, Riche.
South Rowan 3 19 8 8 — 38
Salisbury 19 19 15 10 — 63