High school basketball: Salisbury girls vs. Ashe County preview
By Mike London
SALISBURY — One of the two third-round games in the NCHSAA state playoffs takes place Monday night in Salisbury at 6 p.m.
Ashe County’s Huskies, seeded eighth, travel to face top-seeded Salisbury in the 2A West girls bracket.
Lots of snow prevented Ashe County, which is in West Jefferson, north of Boone, from playing Forest Hills on Thursday or Friday. But the teams finally were able to play their second-round game on Saturday and Ashe County rolled 53-36.
Winners of 19 in a row since a Christmas tournament loss to 3A West Rowan, Salisbury (27-1) has had a lot of time off since a 53-33 second-round win against Wilkes Central last Thursday.
Former Catawba star Lakai Brice is in her seventh season of coaching the Hornets.
The Hornets were expected to be good, but few expected 27-1 a season after losing Bryanna Troutman, one of the top players in program history.
Salisbury senior guard Anayia Fulson, who has scored more than 1,300 career points, leads the Hornets. She’s scored 28 in the two playoff games.
Sophomore Rachel McCullough is a very good shooter and has been in double figures in five of her last six games. She’s scored 25 in the playoffs.
Freshmen Kyla Bryant averages double figures and had a career-high 21 points against West Davidson in the Central Carolina Conference Tournament. She’s scored 21 in the playoffs.
Freshman Jamecia Huntley is a special athlete and her rebounding and defense have really boosted the Hornets. Her offensive game is still developing, but she’s scored 17 in the playoffs.
Sophomore Jaleiah Gibson is strong and gets tough rebounds. She also contributes points and has scored 13 in the playoffs.
Freshman Mary Morgan is usually the first player off the bench for the Hornets and helps out with four or five points and lots of defense.
Salisbury averages 55.5 points per game, but excels mostly on the defensive end where it’s allowing 33.6 per game.
Ashe County averages 53.3 points per game, while allowing 42.4.
Ashe County (21-6) plays in the Mountain Valley Conference, a split 1A/2A league. There was a three-way tie for first in the regular season with 1A Alleghany and 2A teams Ashe County and Wilkes Central all posting 11-3 records.
Ashe County split its games with Wilkes Central, a team that Salisbury handled with relative ease in the second round, but there’s a game on Ashe County’s schedule that stands out.
Ashe County won against Watauga, the team that beat West Rowan in the first round of the 3A state playoffs, so Ashe County is capable of playing very well.
The leader for Ashe County is senior guard Hallie Treva, who averages about 17 points per game. She reached 1,000 career points in January, the fourth player in program history to reach the milestone. She’s headed to Tusculum to play in the South Atlantic Conference. Treva scored 20 in the first-round playoff win against North Wilkes.
Sophomore Jordan Jones, a 6-footer, is the top rebounder for Ashe County. Another player to watch for the Huskies is 3-point shooter Kenadie Hudler. She made three long ones in the first round of the playoffs.
Ashe County has made the trip to Salisbury before, although it’s been a while.
In 2009, a Salisbury team that was headed to the state championship, battered Ashe County 72-37 in a second-round matchup.
The winner of this game already knows it’s taking on fourth-seeded Forbush (28-2) in the fourth round on Wednesday. Forbush beat Salisbury in the fourth round a year ago.
WILKES CENTRAL () — Wyatt, German, Susi, Lowe, Richardson, Mathis, Freeman, Anderson.
SALISBURY — Bryant, McCullough, Huntley, Fulson, Gibson, Morgan.
Wilkes Central xx xx xx xx — xx
Salisbury xx xx xx xx — xx
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