High school basketball: Hornet boys fall in overtime

Published 2:31 am Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Salisbury’s Nate Brown in the 2019 Christmas tourney final. Photo by Wayne Hinshaw for the Salisbury Post


Staff report

MARSHVILLE — Like everyone else, Salisbury boys basketball coach Bryan Withers didn’t have his normal preparation for this season.

Withers always takes his teams to an eastern summer camp and plays “up.” The 2A Hornets tackle the 3As, the 4As and the best of the private and prep schools.

“It’s always humbling,” Withers said. “But it’s not a bad thing to find out you’re not as good as maybe you think you are. It shows you where you are and how much harder you need to work.”

The “playing up” option wasn’t available in this COVID year, so the Hornets found the best substitute they could before starting Central Carolina Conference play.

They made the trip to Forest Hills Tuesday night to play a perennially strong program that has knocked them out of many state playoffs, including a 71-67 regional final loss in March 2018 and a 60-59 loss in a 2020 second-r0und matchup.

Salisbury has a lot of new faces, mostly young faces, and the Hornets got shocked out of the gate. They were down 17-4 after a quarter.

By halftime they had found their legs and had gotten back to 27-21.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Hornets caught up. Then they took it to the wire and then some — finally losing 61-58  in overtime.to the Yellow Jackets, who went 29-1 in 2019-20.

Regulation ended at 54-all.

Nate Brown, one of the veterans and a captain, scored 19 for the Hornets. Jalon Walker had 12, while newcomer Javon Smith, the former Carson point guard, scored nine.

Freshman Mike Jeter scored eight for the Hornets.

Zack Barbour, a 6-foot-4 sophomore forward, scored 19 for Forest Hills. Ty Burch, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard, had 14.

Burch made big free throws.

Free throws decided it. Salisbury missed some key ones, while Forest Hills made some clutch ones.

Salisbury plays an opponent with a different style Wednesday when Chatham Central visits the Hornets’ gym.

Chatham Central won at North Rowan last season with a lot of 3-pointers and a lot of backdoor cuts.


SALISBURY (58) — Brown 19, J. Walker 12, Smith 9, Geter 8, Witherspoon 6, D. Walker 2.

FOREST HILLS (61) — Barbour 19, Burch 14, Byrams 7, Blakeney 7, Hester 7, Coffey 3, Horne 2, Crowder 2.

Salisbury         4    17   14   20 4   — 58

Forest Hills     17   10  11   16   7   — 61