• 59°

High school basketball: Salisbury boys overpower Ledford

Salisbury’s Jalon Walker was a beast on Tuesday. Photo by Wayne Hinshaw, for the Salisbury Post.

 

By Mike London

mike.london@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Jalon Walker has his pick of colleges nationwide as a football linebacker, but Salisbury basketball head coach Bryan Withers has raved all season about the commitment Walker has made to the school’s basketball team.

Walker’s dedication to his second sport has come in this strange COVID-modified school year in which basketball season precedes football.

Walker simply took over Tuesday’s Central Carolina Conference showdown with Ledford with 14 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots.

Ledford brought a tough, good-shooting team to Salisbury’s gym, but Walker out-athleted the Panthers in the decisive third quarter. He out-jumped them. He out-muscled them. He out-worked them. He out-everythinged them. The Hornets won 71-53.

Walker made great decisions, He made great passes. He was great.

“That stat line Jalon had, that’s an amazing night for anyone,” Withers said.

Winners of six straight, Salisbury (6-3, 6-0) plays in spurts. That’s been the case all season. But the spurts are getting longer, while the droughts are getting shorter. If the Hornets can ever put 32 minutes together, it will be scary.

“It’s coming,” Withers said. “I’ve been saying it all along. We played a good second half and beat Central Davidson. We played one quarter and beat Oak Grove. Tonight we played well for three quarters.”

That’s basically. Throw out the closing four minutes when both teams were just getting some guys into the game. In the second quarter, the Hornets were really good and in the third quarter, they were devastating.

Withers said a key to the Hornets’ improvement has been competitive practices.

‘We can put 10 good guys out there and let them go at it,” Withers said. “Especially if we put the Walker brothers (Jalon and Deuce) on opposing teams. They’re pretty competitive with each other.”

The first quarter was hard to watch. Salisbury had a terrible time getting untracked, threatened to break backboards with layup attempts, and watched Ledford take advantage. Tyler Partee looked like the smoothest and smartest player on the floor. He led the Panthers to a 13-9 lead after a quarter.

But in the second quarter, Salisbury shooter Cameron Stout found a groove. He’s a husky guy who doesn’t look like a bomber, but his touch is velvet. He knocked down two 3-pointers and finished a tough three-point play with a spin, and suddenly the Hornets had serious energy. They whipped the visitors 21-11 in the second quarter and led 30-24 at halftime.

The Hornets took momentum to the third quarter, and that’s when they became a freight train. Walker was catching the ball around the foul line and doing special things with it. Ordinarily, defenders don’t mind him shooting from 15 feet, but on this night, he was scoring and his passing skills got Nate Brown layups. Brown is the Hornets’ leading scorer, but he had struggled through a quiet first half.  Then Walker got him involved, and suddenly there was no stopping either of them.

It was 53-38 by the end of the third quarter. It was 62-39 early in the fourth quarter when the Hornets ramped down the intensity a bit and subbed freely.

Stout scored 17 points. Joe Witherspoon was a magnet for loose balls around the hoop and finished transition opportunities and scored 14. Brown added 12.

Ledford got 15 points each from Partee (his father Jonathan was a three-sport star for Salisbury) and Owen Finley, who mixed drives with 3-pointers.

Ledford (6-2, 4-2) was undefeated before it lost to Central Davidson on Friday. The CCC is a wild league, but now it’s likely to come down to next week’s confrontation between North Davidson and the Hornets.

 

LEDFORD (53) — Partee 15, Finley 15, Reece 11, Rumley 3, I. Petties 3, Mulualam 2, Morgan 2, England 2.

SALISBURY (71) — Stout 17, J. Walker 14, Witherspoon 14, Brown 12, Chunn 5, Geter 4, Murphy 3, D. Walker 2, Harry, Webb, Antosek, Wells, Woodruff, Lockhart.

Ledford    13   11   14    18   — 53

Salisbury  9   21    25    16   — 71

 

Comments

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both

Education

East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status

Lifestyle

Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

College

Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame

Nation/World

J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

13 deaths reported in Rowan, county stresses need to receive second dose

Coronavirus

10% of Rowan residents receive first dose; eight COVID-19 deaths reported this week

News

North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander to retire

Education

UNC School of the Arts may go for online learning due to COVID-19 spread