SALISBURY — South Iredell’s springy 6-foot standout Julia Scoles missed Tuesday’s game at Salisbury with illness, but her teammates still got the job done.
They beat the Hornets 55-40 for their first win of the season.
“It was an opportunity for some other girls to step up in the paint and they did,” South Iredell coach Mike Fisher said. “The post was our strength tonight. We got second shots, and we got third shots, and we got fourth shots.”
The Vikings (1-1) probably would’ve gotten fifth and sixth shots if they’d needed them.
“Sometimes you can’t just rely on athletic ability — you have to get back to basic fundamentals and sit down and box someone out,” Salisbury coach Lakai Brice said. “They just cleaned the glass on us tonight.”
The visitors also got a lot of points by working inside-out. Guard Kaylee Johnson made four 3s and scored 21 points to lead the Vikings, and Tyra Ruffin scored 12 in the post.
Salisbury’s offense came 20 feet from the hoop.
Monifa Angle shot the ball tremendously She hit her first six field-goal attempts, including four 3s, and kept the Hornets (1-3) in the game for a half. She finished with 20.
“She’s been lights-out,” Brice said. “We just need to get her more handling the ball, so she doesn’t tire out.”
Katy Wolfe scored 10 for the Hornets. She hit three 3s.
Salisbury only managed a handful of layups, however. and most of those were off Angle’s steals.
Angle and Wolfe were so hot early that the Hornets jumped out to a 16-7 lead, but two buckets by Lekia Hall on a stickback and a layup started a 13-0 South Iredell run.
Salisbury went down 20-16 before Angle hit another 3-pointer, and the Vikings led 33-25 at halftime.
Brice’s halftime talk was mostly about establishing an inside game, and the Hornets listened.
They punched the ball inside on their first five possessions of the second half and they got pointblank shots — but no points.
“We just didn’t finish tonight in the paint, but it’s all a process,” Brice said. “We’ve got some girls in different roles than they’ve been in, in the past and we’re playing a lot of freshmen. We’ve just got to stick with it. We can’t get frustrated. Sometimes you’ve got to lose some games in order to get better.”
South Iredell made defensive adjustments and slowed Angle down after halftime. The Vikings went up by 10 on a 3-pointer by Johnson late in the third quarter and led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter.
“I was excited about the way we played,” Fisher said. “We played uptempo and we played with selflessness.”
S. IREDELL (55) — Johnson 21, Ruffin 12, Hall 10, White 4, Dawes 4, Ty. Black 2, Ta. Black 2, Jones, Patterson, Berg.
SALISBURY (40) — Angle 20, Wolfe 10, Caldwell 4, Anderson 2, Alexander 2, Philpot 2, Harris, Charles, Hightower.
S. Iredell 11 22 8 14 — 55
Salisbury 16 9 6 9 — 40