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Prep Hoops: South Stanly boys 57, Carson 45

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

NORWOOD — Carson’s first victory in boys basketball looks a little farther away than it did last week.

The Cougars got good shots at South Stanly, but the 3-pointers didn’t fall and neither did the layups in a

57-45 loss to the 1A Rebel Bulls.

Carson shot 27.7 percent from the field, got only three points at the foul line and lost by double digits to a team it pushed to the wire in China Grove.

The Cougars (0-4) probably missed more 3-footers on Tuesday night than Carson coach Brian Perry missed during the three varsity seasons he floated around the rim in the uniform of the East Rowan Mustangs.

“We’ve got to get better as a team at a whole lot of things — handling the ball, defense, rebounding and finishing off plays,” a disappointed Perry said. “The bottom line is we couldn’t put the ball in the hole.”

South Stanly’s Monquale Smith could. He scored 20 points.

Carson did do a much better defensive job on South Stanly guard Jordan Curlee, limiting him to 13 points after he torched the Cougars for 36 in the first meeting.

“If there’s a positive, that was it,” Perry said.

Guard Brandon Ferguson scored 22 points to lead Carson, but 10 came in the fourth quarter after the Rebel Bulls had the game in hand.

South Stanly (3-2) seized a 16-point lead early in the fourth quarter and was never seriously threatened down the stretch. Quite a contrast to the 70-68 thriller at Carson.

“The biggest thing that changed was our team has come together a lot since we played Carson the first time,” South Stanly coach Sean Whitley said. “When we played them the first time, we’d had one practice with everybody. Now our football guys are getting in basketball shape.”

Whitley also had a chance to see Ferguson shoot the ball in the Carson gym, and he reminded his team all night long to make sure they knew where No. 22 was.

Carson didn’t start badly. With Ferguson scoring eight early points and Dustin Craft grabbing four quick rebounds, the game see-sawed in the first quarter.

The Cougars trailed just

22-21 after Dylan Kosinski hit a 3-pointer with 1:30 left in the first half, but South Stanly scored eight straight points before Carson reserve Michael Hutchinson finished the half with a layup.

When Carson began the second half in a funk, the Rebel Bulls quickly rattled off a 7-0 burst and never looked back.

“We needed 100 percent effort, not 50 percent,” Ferguson said. “South Stanly got a lot more aggressive in the second half, and we didn’t.”

Part of that aggression was a man-to-man defense that created seven third-quarter turnovers by the Cougars.

“We played zone the first time we played Carson, and they shot us out of it,” Whitley said. “We wanted to play as much man-to-man as we could tonight. We’re quick enough to switch and still cover ’em.”

And even when the Cougars weren’t covered, they missed.

n

NOTES: Ferguson is averaging 20 points a game. … Carson freshman Darius Moose had nine boards and blocked two shots. … Carson begins its rivalry with East Rowan on Friday.

Carson (45) — Ferguson 22, Kosinski 6, Ferrare 6, Moose 6, Hutchinson 4, Freeze 1, Johnson, Adams, Yates, Fontenot, Craft,

south stanly (57) — Smith 20, Curlee 13, Biles 12, Rush 6, Shankle 2, Allen 2, Almond 2, Clayton.

Carson 13 10 8 14 — 45

S. Stanly 16 14 13 14 — 57

*

Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or mlondon@salisburypost.com.

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