Published 12:00 am Friday, December 27, 2013

SALISBURY — The Salisbury girls won their fourth in a row with a 49-38 triumph in the opening round of the Moir Christmas Classic Thursday.
Fourth-seeded Salisbury matched its first-half output in an 18-point third quarter. After winning 20-18 at halftime, SHS went on a 12-1 run to ice the game. With the two teams combining for 36 turnovers, there was much to be desired, but a win-starved Salisbury team’s thirst was quenched. With seven freshmen on the roster, Salisbury had little experience on the big stage but also had nothing to lose.
“I thought we were nervous at the beginning of the game,” first-year Salisbury coach Lakai Brice said. “Being that it’s some of the girls’ first tournament, but we came back and held our composure.”
The new-look Hornets, who have won nine of the last 10 Moir Tournaments, were slow to adapt to the surroundings of Sam Moir Court. Once they did, they clamped down and beat Carson for the third time.
Salisbury, once 1-5, now sits at 5-5 and will play top-seeded East Rowan tonight in the 6 p.m. semifinal. SHS held Carson to seven field goals in the second half to pull away.
“We switched out of the zone and went to man,” Brice said of the second half.
Nyasia Harris scored 13 points to lead Salisbury. Harris, a senior, also collected 10 rebounds and blocked a shot.
Carson (4-6) struggled shooting, hitting just 15 of 63 shots for 23.8 percent. That clip included a 1 for 13 stretch from beyond the arc. The Cougars got decent looks from all over the floor, but were denied the swish.
“It’s a very disappointing game on our end,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “We just played very nonchalantly. We didn’t have any more energy or enthusiasm.”
Alex Allen scored a game-best 18 points and grabbed 10 boards for Carson.
Salisbury led 11-8 after one quarter as it collected steals on Carson’s first two possessions. Freshman Juliana Anderson hit a basket to put SHS up 20-18 at the half. Monifa Angle scored 10 of her 12 points in the first half.
Harris nailed a three that put the Hornets up for keeps at 25-22. Harris hit another shot and Breya Philpot nailed a layup to force a Carson timeout. The stoppage didn’t halt the Hornets as Katy Wolfe converted a trey and Tyzarea Alexander hit a deuce to put the Hornets up double digits.
“You can’t win a game and give up 18 points in a quarter,” Misenheimer said. “Shot selection was bad. It was just a bad all-around game for us.”
The Cougars got two points and two free throws from Allen to start the fourth to trim their deficit to five, but they never got closer. Senior Kate Cole poured in 10 points for Carson.
The Cougars will play for fifth place on Saturday at noon.
CARSON (38) — Allen 18, Cole 10, Roberson 6, Clark 3, Gray 1, Huffman, McClary.
SALISBURY (49) — Harris 13, Angle 12, Anderson 8, Philpot 6, Wolfe 4, Alexander 3, Charles 3.

Carson 8 10 11 9 — 38
Salisbury 11 9 18 11 — 49