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Salisbury boys take care of Golden Eagles, 49-36

By Mike Duprez

Lexington Dispatch

THOMASVILLE — After watching his team get embarrassed by Salisbury last week, East Davidson coach Matt Jacobs had a plan for when the teams met again here Wednesday night.

It came close to working.

Playing very patiently on offense and sagging back in a zone on defense, the Eagles kept it close into the third quarter before Salisbury slowly pulled away for a 49-36 win in their Central Carolina Conference match-up.

That was quite a contrast to the 66-22 drubbing East took last Friday in Salisbury.

“My kids, I’ll tell you what,” said East coach Matt Jacobs, whose team fell to 3-17 overall and 1-6 in the CCC. “I gave them the game plan. Every coach has a game plan. The game plan was right. They executed it great. We missed easy opportunities and Salisbury did what it always does, force a couple of turnovers and make some shots.”

Joe Geren led the Eagles with 13 points and McKagan Barrett had 12. But no one else scored more than six points.

Salisbury (12-5 overall, 5-2 CCC), on the other hand, had a bit more firepower and utilized it when it could. Oshaun Robinson scored 14 points while Will Leckonby had 14 and 6-foot-6 center Tre Oats added 11.

The Hornets, who zoomed past Lexington, 84-50, on Tuesday, didn’t get to play their preferred free-wheeling game and coach Bryan Withers wasn’t exactly thrilled, even in victory.

“We didn’t look good,” Withers said. “We played without our point guard today. My guys have got to learn to do what’s right, in school, everywhere. They learn their lessons when they have to sit and watch.”

The Hornets had to do a lot of watching, as East successfully dictated the pace even after Salisbury jumped out to a 6-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. With Jacobs repeatedly yelling, “get in it!” … the Eagles worked on a motion offense that drained the clock and tested Salisbury’s patience.

Salisbury managed to move out to a seven-point lead late in the first half. But the rail-thin Geren drove right down the middle for a layup. The Eagles made it a 24-21 game when the Catawba-bound Barrett muscled in for a three-point play with 4.4 seconds left. And when backup guard Austin McIntire drew a charge on Salisbury’s Cameron Gil at the buzzer, the Eagles were fired up.

It took a trio of 3-pointers, including one from 25-feet, by Leckonby to loosen things up for Salisbury. Leckonby’s third one made it 34-22, giving the Hornets command, even if they couldn’t run.

“They made us play defense for a long time,” Withers said. “Sometimes you just have to do it.”

Salisbury’s biggest lead was 39-23 on a 3-pointer by Robinson with 1:58 to go in the third quarter.

East is at North Rowan on Friday while Salisbury hosts Thomasville.

Mike Duprez can be reached at sports@the-dispatch.com.

SALISBURY (49) — Robinson 15, Leckonby 14, Oats 11, Harris 8, Davis 1.

EAST ROWAN (36) — Geren 13, Barrett 12, Warrick 6, Jacobs 3, Riggs 1, Schultheiss 1.

Salisbury          9   15   15   10 — 49

E. Davidson     7   14     5   10 — 36

 

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