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Salisbury girls take command of CCC with win at East Davidson

By Mike Duprez

Lexington Dispatch

THOMASVILLE — East Davidson had a chance to secure what would have amounted to a share of the Central Carolina Conference championship in the Golden Eagles’ showdown with Salisbury.

Instead, it’s the Hornets who are on the verge of winning the CCC title.

Sophomore forward Bryanna Troutman powered her way to 22 points and 17 rebounds as the Hornets turned away two East comeback bids in a 62-52 win, Wednesday night.

It was the Hornets’ 16th consecutive win after a season-opening loss. That includes a season sweep of East and a 7-0 mark in the CCC, with the Hornets’ magic number to two for clinching the title.

East betrayed itself at the free throw line, making just 6-of-21 for the game, including 2-of-10 in the fourth quarter when the Eagles came tantalizingly close to making a huge rally.

“Again,” said East coach Don Corry, whose team fell to 14-6 overall and 5-2 in the CCC. “Our nemesis. We’ve lost four games because we can’t make a foul shot. And they walk up and knock theirs down.”

Another young player for the Hornets, freshman guard Anayia Fulson, came up huge, scoring 17 points.

But the Eagles wouldn’t go quietly, even after trailing by 13 points in the first half and 12 with less than three minutes left.

Salisbury’s lead was 53-41 with less than three minutes to go when Brooke Jones scored inside. Brooke Anders, who scored 12 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter, then stole the inbound pass, made a layup and was fouled. Anders made the free throw and suddenly it was a seven-point game.

The Eagles kept coming.

Anders knocked down a 3-pointer, cutting the lead to 57-52 with two minutes still to play. The Eagles might have got even closer after Fulson missed the front end of a 1-and-1. But the Eagles couldn’t come up with the rebound. Forced to foul, they put Jinika Glenn on the line with 39.8 seconds left. Glenn, who had not scored, made both free throws and the Hornets were finally safe.

Salisbury was 8-of-11 from the line in the fourth quarter.

“I told our girls to foul No. 4 (Glenn) and what does she do?” Corry said. “The rim was their friend tonight. They had a lot of balls that hit the rim and fell in. It was just one of those nights.”

And a rugged win for the Hornets, who saw two starters foul out, including Troutman.

“I told my girls we know that great teams make runs,” said Salisbury coach Lakai Brice. “We just had to go out there and get a couple of stops. We got a couple of stops and that allowed us to get out in transition.”

Jones scored 13 points for the Eagles and Bailey Grimsley had 12.

“We didn’t play well in the first half,” Corry said. “The girls came back. I’m proud of them for that.”

The 6-foot Troutman dominated inside with 11 of her points in the second quarter as Salisbury moved from a slim, three-point lead after a quarter to a double-digit margin. Salisbury led 28-17 at the half.

East shaved all but two points off that lead less than three minutes into the second half before Salisbury surged again and carried a 42-33 lead into the final period.

Salisbury is heavily favored in its last three games and can clinch a tie for the title and wrap up the CCC’s top seed for the 2A state playoffs Friday night at home against Thomasville. Brice isn’t assuming a thing.

“We’ve still got games ahead of us,” Brice said. “We’ve got Thomasville and West Davidson. I’m the kind of coach that don’t take no team for granted. We play one game at a time.”

East Davidson is at North Rowan on Friday.

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

SALISBURY (62) — Troutman 22, Fulson 17, Phifer 7, Capito 6, Alexander 6, J. Glenn 2, M. Glenn 2.

EAST DAVIDSON (52) — Anders 19, Jones 13, Grimsley 12, Grubb 4, Hamilton 4.
Salisbury        10    18    14    20 — 62

E. Davidson     7    10    16    17  — 52

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