THOMASVILLE — Kindly excuse Tony Hillian for not recognizing the Salisbury girls basketball team Friday night.
The Hornets’ first-year coach didn’t see anything familiar — nor anything worth praising — in a 59-41 CCC loss at East Davidson.
“I am very surprised,” he said. “I don’t know where my team was tonight. They didn’t show up here at East Davidson.”
The loss included an embarrassing second-quarter goose egg for Salisbury (12-12), which closed the regular season 4-6 in league play and buried in fifth place.
“I think they just got to us,” senior Danielle Harmon said after netting a team-high eight points for the Hornets. “I don’t know what really happened but I think we did it to ourselves.”
Salisbury, which edged East (14-9, 5-5) in late January, fell behind early and never led. The Golden Eagles used a 3-pointer by junior Ariel Grimsley to take an 8-2 lead, then a back-door layup Lori Morgan to go ahead 17-14 after one quarter.
“We started out OK, but everybody doesn’t have a good game all the time,” senior Brielle Blaire said. “I didn’t. My shots just weren’t falling.”
Blaire, the county’s leading scorer, was limited to one field goal and a season-low six points before fouling out with 7:14 remaining. Winning coach said Don Corry said East simply planned its work and worked its plan.
“We executed our game plan very well,” he said. “We took our time, didn’t force passes and looked for open shots. And pretty much every time Brielle touched the ball we had two people on her.”
East cracked the game open in the second period when it out scored Salisbury 25-0. “That’s never happened here,” Hillian said. “When I was coaching at North (Rowan) I was on the other side of that. Salisbury once outscored us 30-2 in the first half.”
The hosts were paced by 6-foot-2 freshman Bayley Plummer’s 15 points. Her fastbreak layup midway through the quarter gave ED a 35-14 lead. And her bank shot from the right side gave East a 42-14 halftime edge.
“I think she really was disappointed when we lost down there (63-57 on Jan. 29) at Salisbury,” Corry said. “She had 18 points and 30 rebounds and we lost the game. She really wanted to take over tonight.”
Harmon said SHS was clearly out of sync. “We definitely weren’t playing our game,” she noted. “You know, pushing the ball, scoring, rebounding, boxing out. It just wasn’t us.”
Salisbury put a dent in its deficit in the third quarter, when it forced 12 turnovers and Blaire made her only basket.
“We picked it up a little bit in the second half,” Hillian said. “But the first half we just out there nonchalant. No defense, no hustle, no intensity, no enthusiasm. We were just out there. Fourteen points in 16 minutes in unacceptable. It was the whole team’s fault. When one is down, we’re all down.”
SALISBURY (41) —Harmon 8, B.Blaire 6, Caldwell 5, Angle 5, A.Blaire 4, Wolfe 4, Connor 3, Harris 3, Riche 3, Gloster.
EAST DAVIDSON (59) — Plummer 15, Morgan 13, Grimsley 11, Hallman 10, Isom 5, Compton 2, Davis 2, Jones 1.
Salisbury 14 0 11 16 — 41
E. Davidson 17 25 4 13 — 59
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