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Prep Basketball: Hornets surge late to beat South

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury’s girls basketball team appeared to be in trouble when senior Tyzarea Alexander picked up her fourth foul at the outset of the second half, but it was Alexander who sparked the decisive run by the Hornets at the end.
Salisbury finished the game on a blistering 19-3 run and beat South Rowan, 68-48, on Thursday in the Salisbury gym.
“I stayed in the game, even when I was out of the game, by supporting my teammates,” Alexander said. “I never felt like we weren’t going to win.”
Salisbury sophomore Bryanna Troutman turned in a sensational game. She had 20 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and four blocks while committing only one turnover.
Sophomore Janiya Downs had 22 points to lead South, while junior Tazah “Z” Hardin had 14.
Salisbury (4-1) also enjoyed a blitz to start the game, overwhelming South with pressure defense and getting early 3-pointers from Troutman and Maria Capito to storm to a 16-2 lead.
“When you turn it over or miss a long shot that gives them a long rebound, it’s bad news,” South coach John Davis said. “They’ll run it at you in a hurry.”
Downs and Hardin eventually stabilized the Raiders, who put together a 10-0 run of their own. The Raiders (3-2) got a 3-pointer from Brooke Lowery and cut their deficit to 16-12 by the end of the quarter.
Foul trouble for Alexander and freshman Anayia Fulson slowed the Hornets in the second quarter, but a three-point play by Troutman provided a 32-25 halftime cushion.
“Bryanna played a big-time game tonight and that’s the way the good players are supposed to play in the big games,” Salisbury coach Lakai Brice said.
Alexander, who had to sit for a long time, came back in the game at the start of the second half and was immediately whistled for her fourth foul while battling inside. She sat down again.
“We were in foul trouble and South was using a triangle-and-two on Troutman and Capito, but we had other girls step up and we kept the lead,” Brice said. “And being a senior, Tyzarea was able to keep her focus.”
Downs and Troutman dueled with nine points each in the third quarter.
South was still close with 6:47 left to play. That’s when Hardin got a soft-rim roll on a 3-pointer to cut Salisbury’s lead to 49-45.
But Alexander returned to the floor, and a steal by Capito led to a layup by Alexander that pushed the lead back to six.
“I was really ready to get back in there,” Alexander said.
Troutman got the Hornets out on another break and she fed Alexander for another layup to make it 53-45.
When Alexander scored her third straight bucket on another transition opportunity,the Hornets were up by 10 and were headed for victory.
“We work on our transition game a lot,” Brice said. “We made some nice passes and we got some quick, easy baskets.”
Keara McClary made a 3-pointer for South to make it 55-48, but then the Hornets reeled off the last 13 points.
Alexander and Fulson combined for 16 points in the final quarter, while the Hornets were holding South to eight.
“Salisbury played very well,” Davis said. “We did some good things and at times we were able to get them out of what they wanted to do. But in that fourth quarter, they just absolutely got us.”
•••
Alexander pushed her career points total to 662. … Mystjkal Phifer had one of the best games of her career for Salisbury with seven points. … South was a dismal 1-for-10 at the foul line, while the Hornets cashed in 11 points at the stripe.

SOUTH (48)
Downs 22, Hardin 14, Lowery 6, McClary 3, Arnott 2, Rollins 1, Corriher, Shell, Cam. Carlton, Cam. Carlton, Wagner.

SALISBURY (68)
Troutman 20, Alexander 13, Fulson 13, Capito 7, Phifer 7, Daniels 4, M. Glenn 2, J. Glenn 2.

South Rowan 12 13 15 8 — 48
Salisbury 16 16 14 22 — 68

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