Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 28, 2013

SALISBURY — Salisbury got 40 points from its bench in Saturday’s Moir Christmas Classic fifth-place game.
That was the good news. The bad news was those guys coming off the bench are usually the starters.
SHS coach Jason Causby dealt with disciplinary issues, and the fourth-seeded Hornets took their medicine in an 86-71 loss to Davie.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to coach teams that won this tournament, but I’ve also coached teams where you drop that first game and it puts you in a consolation game, it’s the holidays, and not everyone makes it to practice,” Salisbury coach Jason Causby explained. “We’ve got some stuff that we’re working through right now.”
Salisbury’s top three scorers — DeShawn Troutman, Donnell Alexander and Corban Usry — didn’t start. Usry did play five minutes in the first half. Troutman and Alexander didn’t report to the scorer’s table until the third quarter was under way.
Alexander scored 11 points in 11 minutes. Troutman scored 10 in 12 minutes. Usry hit four 3s and scored 15 in 16 minutes.
Defensive stopper John Canipe also didn’t play at all in the first half.
Jeryon Davis, who started and scored 10, K.J. Wilson and John Yang played well for the Hornets.
The way Davie (3-9) shot, it may not have mattered if SHS (6-5) had been at full strength. The seventh-seeded War Eagles went 10-for-21 on 3s and put on an 18-for-21 clinic at the foul line.
Davie’s only scoring drought was early.
“I was thinking it was going to be one of those 52-50 slugfests and playing that early (1:30 start) can certainly lend itself to a low- scoring game,” Davie coach Mike Absher said.
“It stayed 3-3 forever, but then I look up and we’re ahead 13-5. We made a high percentage of our easy shots.”
Nic Starnes, whose previous career best was 14, scored 20 for the War Eagles on 8-for-11 shooting. Blaise Bennett matched his career high with 14 points, shooting 5-for-5 and converting two backbreaking stickbacks.
Freshman Heath Slabach careered with 13 points, and Peyton Sell (13) and Holden Poole (13) gave Davie five guys in double figures.
Davie used a 27-point second-quarter binge to take a 40-24 halftime lead.
“We’d talked about being aggressive and sharing the ball,” Starnes said. “We did both those things, and everyone was chipping in.”
Everyone expected Salisbury to make a run when the standard starters finally reported for duty, but Davie didn’t blink. A 3-pointer by Usry cut Davie’s lead to 46-38 midway through the third quarter, but 3s by Jordan McDaniel and Slabach allowed Davie to stay in control.
“We were mentally ready to play, and that’s just huge in any consolation game,” Absher said. “We played well three days in a row and we got two wins here. It was a great week for us.”

DAVIE (86) — Starnes 20, Bennett 14, Sell 13, Slabach 13, Poole 13, McDaniel 8, Redmond 2, Mua 2, Calamarino 1, Cunningham, Miller.
SALISBURY (71) — Usry 15, Alexander 11, Troutman 10, Davis 10, Fazia 7, Rayner 6, Wilson 6, Petty 2, Oats 2, Brown 2, J. Yang, A. Yang, Canipe.

Davie 13 27 23 23 — 86
Salisbury 7 17 23 24 — 71