Prep Basketball: Carson girls 51, Central Davidson 45: Dulkoski scores 33, passes 1,000
CHINA GROVE — Carson guard Kelly Dulkoski filled up the history books on Tuesday with a stunning performance that lifted the Cougars to a 51-45 win against visiting Central Davidson.
Dulkoski’s pullup jumper in transition early in the third quarter made her the first in program history to score 1,000 points, and her 12-point fourth quarter enabled her to tie the school single-game mark with 33 points.
Mackenzie White scored 33 against East Rowan in 2006, the year Carson opened. Dulkoski, who has signed with Kennesaw State, enjoyed a 32-point game last season.
“It’s nice, but I really didn’t worry at all about the 1,000 points,” said Dulkoski, who entered the game with 981. “The only thing I was worried about was winning this game.”
Central (4-2) gave the Cougars plenty to be concerned about. Paige Chavis scored 12 for Central and Chandler Young had 11, but it was mostly the Spartans’ tenacious defense that made life difficult for the Cougars (6-1).
“Both teams had great defensive efforts,” said colorful Central coach Kevin Hudson, who was frustrated enough with the officiating to lie down on his back like he was sampling a new mattress at one point in the second half. “Every shot was challenged. It was two good, evenly matched teams, and it was just hard to score.”
Well, it was hard for everyone except Dulkoski.
Central beat Carson 48-46 in overtime on Nov. 27, the only blemish on the Cougars’ record, so it was a very big game for Carson, which desperately wanted to get even.
“We were ready for it,” Dulkoski said. “And we knew if we were going to beat them we had to focus on defense and rebounding, and that’s what we did.”
Dulkoski made a 3 early, but then she struggled for several minutes. Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer sat her down for 30 seconds or so.
“Kelly had kind of a frustrating start, so I sat her down to clear her head,” Misenheimer said. “I just told her to play her game and play hard.”
Chavis scored seven early to push the Spartans to an 11-10 lead, but Carson held Central to seven points in the second quarter to take a 23-18 halftime lead. Dulkoski had 15.
Dulkoski scored the first two buckets of the second half for 1,000 and a 27-18 Carson lead. The game was halted briefly as Misenheimer and the crowd acknowledged the feat.
“It’s a huge milestone,” Misenheimer said. “It will be one of her great high school memories. But it wouldn’t have been nearly as special if we hadn’t won the game.”
When Alex Allen drove for a three-point play right after that stoppage, Carson led 30-20, but then it was Central’s turn, and Taylor Shoaf and Melissa McMath fueled a strong run. When Young made two free throws early in the fourth quarter, Central led 33-32, but Allison Blackwell made a big bucket off a pass by Dulkoski, and then a Dulkoski 3-pointer put Carson back in control.
Dulkoski went 7-for-8 at the foul line down the stretch.
“I’m really not disappointed with how we played,” Hudson said. “We executed our offense very well, we just missed too many easy shots.”
CENTRAL DAVIDSON (45) — Chavis 12, Young 11, Shoaf 7, Briggs 7, McMath 4, Burkhart 2, Hedrick 2, Johnson.
CARSON (51) — Dulkoski 33, Blackwell 9, Allen 3, Barringer 3, Cole 2, Gray 1.
C. Davidson 11 7 13 14 — 45
Carson 10 13 9 19 — 51