High school boys basketball roundup: Salisbury, Davie roll on

Published 10:58 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Staff report

Favorites Salisbury and Davie rolled Tuesday and advanced to today’s semifinals.

The third-seeded Hornets and second-seeded War Eagles join top-seeded North Rowan and fourth-seeded West Rowan in the semifinals.

Salisbury 63, Carson 49

It was 22-all at halftime. The Hornets had blown out Carson earlier this season, but Salisbury’s head coach Bryan Withers didn’t peel paint off the locker room walls with a screaming halftime tirade.

He totally expected it to be a struggle.

At least for a while.

“We’ve got one kid on our team who has played in a Christmas tournament, and it’s just a very different environment, but you can’t tell kids that,” Withers said. “Kids think they’ve got all the answers, so you have to let them go out there and play. After they see it’s not so easy, then you can talk to them, and they can settle down and play the way they’re capable of playing. I wasn’t happy at all with our first half, but it didn’t surprise me.”

Salisbury (5-3) has the top two scorers in Rowan County in Juke Harris and Cam Stout, so the Hornets had an interesting strategy to open the second half.

Get Nick Hall the ball.

Hall is a burly, thick football defensive lineman, 280 pounds or so, but he’s far from slow. He has light feet, and a shocking brand of explosiveness that made him impossible to block in football.

The Hornets tossed Hall the ball three times down low and were rewarded with three quick buckets. Now it was 28-22, and Carson (0-9), which has seen a lot of games get away after 15 solid minutes were followed by one bad one, was calling a timeout.

“Nick is starting to get his basketball legs now,” Withers said. “He understands the game. He’s got basketball instincts.”

After Hall lit the fuse, Stout got hot, and Salisbury’s edge quickly swelled to double figures. Stout made 3s. He made stick-backs. He made turnaround jumpers. He made a tip-in.

There wasn’t any chance of a Carson comeback because, in addition to Stout, Harris scored whenever he wanted. He got to the rim easily and finished smoothly, and Carson didn’t have anyone quick enough or tall enough to handle him.

“We’ve got two guys who can score in bunches, so it’s all about sharing the ball and finding that guy with the hot hand,” Withers said. “We’re not there yet, but we’ll get there. We’re going to click soon. These Christmas tournament games are going to help us get where we want to go.”

Stout’s 24 points included three 3-pointers. He put together a 19-point onslaught in the second half. Harris’ 20 came on 10 in each half.

Mike Geter had a quiet scoring game, but he understood this wasn’t a night the Hornets needed his points. He rebounded, he passed, he defended, and he moved the ball to the two guys who were filling it up.

“That’s what a leader does and he’s becoming a very good one,” Withers said.

Carson freshman Colin Ball had a terrific game with 16 points. He made shots and he finished at the rim.

“He played tonight the way he thought he was going to play when the season started,” Carson head coach Brian Perry said. “It’s taken him time to settle in, but he’s one of those kids who is always playing basketball.”

Cameron Burleyson also scored 16. He made two 3s in the first quarter to help the Cougars hang in the game. He got 10 in the fourth quarter to keep Carson from being blown out.

“He played really hard, but the bottom line for us is we scored in the 40s again,” Perry said. “When you score in the 40s, it’s tough to beat anybody.”

Carson plays South Rowan in a 1:30 p.m. consolation today. One of them will get that elusive first victory.

For the Hornets, the stakes are higher. They’ll battle second-seeded Davie in the 4:30 p.m. semifinal.

Carson    11   11  10   17   —  49

Salisbury 11   11  21   20   — 63


Davie 67, South Rowan 39

Davie’s new head coach Bruce Wallace had heard the horror stories about teams shooting 20 percent in the Christmas tournament and stories about 2 seeds losing to 7 seeds.

It’s a different world at Catawba from most high school gyms. Bigger floor, different shooting background, larger, louder crowds.

“We brought in (former Davie star) Sean Stevens to talk to the team during our shoot-a-round,” Wallace said. “He made a lot of 3-pointers in this tournament, and I think he really helped our guys focus and settle down. When they hit the floor, they were ready to go.”
Davie (7-3) shot the lights out early in a breezy win over the Raiders.

“They shot so well we had to try to come out of our zone to try to slow them down,” South head coach Daniel Blevins said.

Davie made seven 3-pointers in the first quarter and 10 in the first half.

“We had games where we’ve struggled to score, but we’ve shot the ball well in our last two,” Wallace said. “Hopefully, we can keep that going.”

It was 11-2. It was 31-8.

Davie had some guys from pretty deep down the bench in the game in the second quarter and still was ahead 44-19 at halftime.

“The big floor here benefits us,” Wallace said. “It helps with our spacing, and our guards are quick.”

It could have been worse. Davie’s star guard Zaharee Maddox didn’t have a great night. He only scored nine.

The guy who did have a great night was Caleb Earnhardt, who made four 3-pointers and scored 14 in the first half.

Al Summers made a couple of bombs.

South (0-10) played to the end. South’s 14-point fourth quarter was its best one.

Jacob Ritchie made four buckets.  Elijah Anderson scored seven, and late roster addition Logan Ballard had two breakaway layups.

Davie takes on Salisbury in today’s 4:30 p.m. semifinal. South plays Carson in a 1:30 p.m. consolation.

South    10    9   6   14    — 39

Davie    31   13  16    7    — 67

SOUTH — Jacob Ritchie 8, Anderson 7, Jones 5, Moore 5, Gould 4, Ballard 4, Carey 4, Pozyck 2.

DAVIE — Earnhardt 14, Maddox 9, Summers 6, Jake Powers 6, Hudson 5, Carney 5, King 5, Junker 5, Jackson 3, Powers 3, Williams 3, Bumgarner 3.