SALISBURY — In his ninth game as head coach Salisbury’s Tony Hillian still may still be feeling things out with his team.
But he does know that performances like Thursday’s are the exception and Friday’s are the rule for the program.
A day after a deflating loss to Thomasville, the Hornets bounced back with a 58-32 victory against West Davidson. WD was held without a point for over 11 minutes and saw Salisbury outscore it 20-0 to win its fourth game in five tries.
“In the second half I told them to come out here and not give up any baskets,” Hillian said. “We played great defense.”
The Hornets won without starting guard Ashley Blaire, who sprained her knee Thursday. The win kept Salisbury (11-9, 3-3) afloat in the CCC playoff picture.
Brielle Blaire scored 32 points and blocked five shots. Blaire hit a jumper, drained two free throws and nailed a putback to give Salisbury a 24-16 lead at the half.
“Brielle’s a tough matchup,” West coach Dave Klinkoski said. “She did a great job finishing tonight. I thought we did a decent job on the help side but she can just elevate above us.”
Nyasia Harris’ turnaround jumper started the half and Daterria Connor added layups after consecutive turnovers from West (3-16, 0-6).
Callie Herman scored 21 points to lead West. Herman had consecutive baskets to pull WD within 12-11 at the end of the first quarter. The Dragons held a 16-14 lead with 5:53 left in the first half but wouldn’t score again until late in the third quarter, going 11:27 between points when Emily Hutchinson hit two free throws.
“We really hustled as a team,” Harris said. “Last night we didn’t do so well and tonight we stepped it up.”
Salisbury led 40-20 after three quarters.
“We picked up the intensity in the second half,” Hillian said.
WEST DAVIDSON (32) — Herman 21, Hutchinson 3, Middleton 2, Beverly 2, Rivas 2, Hughes 2, Shoaf, Beane, Leonard.
SALISBURY (58) — Blaire 32, Lattimore 8, Harris 8, Caldwell 5, Wolfe 3, Riche 2, Connor, Harmon.
W. Davidson 11 5 4 12 — 32
Salisbury 12 12 16 18 — 58