High school boys basketball: Hornets get it done with five in double figures
Published 11:29 pm Friday, February 17, 2023
LEXINGTON — Salisbury star Juke Harris averages 30 points.
Thomasville held him to half that in the Lexington gym, but the Hornets won anyway. Salisbury’s boys basketball team put five in double figures in an exciting 69-62 win in the 1A/2A Central Carolina Conference Tournament championship game.
For the second straight season, Salisbury, coached by Bryan Withers, shared the regular-season title with the Bulldogs, and then beat Thomasville in the tourney championship game.
“Great job by Juke — showed he’s a winner,” Withers said. “He trusted his teammates to make plays that got us over the top. I could not be more proud of this team.”
Jonathan Ross’ 3-pointers kept the Hornets close in the first half.
Hank Webb was big in the third quarter, as the Hornets took the lead. Mike Geter and Dashawn Brown took charge down the stretch. Deuce Walker and Jalen Chunn also had their moments.
Harris, who made seven free throws, and Geter scored 15 apiece. Brown, Webb and Ross added 10 each as top-seeded Salisbury (19-5) won its 12th in a row.
Harris, who had scored 26 and 34 in the first two meetings with the Bulldogs, scored four quick points at the outset, but the Bulldogs (22-5) answered with seven in a row. It would be a game of runs. Salisbury led 14-11 after a quarter.
Second-seeded Thomasville limited Harris to one bucket in the second quarter and surged ahead 30-22. Ross’ 3-pointer to stop the Bulldogs’ run was one of the key shots of the game. Ross made another 3-pointer before the half, and the Hornets got to the locker room, down 36-30. They were able to regroup.
Webb, who didn’t score in the first half, opened the second half scoring with a 3-pointer. Webb’s 3-pointer to close the quarter gave the Hornets a 52-51 lead.
Geter put together a spree to start the fourth quarter before Brown came through with three straight buckets. His work inside turned a 56-all tie into a 62-56 Salisbury lead.
Salisbury missed enough free throws in the final minute to make holding the lead a challenge, but Geter, Ross and Harris made one apiece, and Ross and Walker came up with huge offensive rebounds after missed free throws.
“We beat a great team that believes in their system,” Withers said. “This has become a really good rivalry game.”
Salisbury moved up to seventh in the 2A West RPI rankings. Thomasville is fifth in the 1A West RPI. Playoff pairings and seeds will be announced today.
Thomasville 11 25 15 11 — 62
Salisbury 14 16 22 17 — 69
Salisbury — Harris 15, Geter 15, Webb 10, Ross 10, Brown 10, Walker 5, Chunn 4.