Prep Basketball: East Rowan girls 63, Carson 45
By David Shaw
GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan’s girls basketball team wasn’t about to wait for an invitation Friday night.
The host Mustangs quickly and abruptly crashed Brooke Misenheimer’s homecoming party, racing to an early lead and coasting to a 63-45 win over Carson and its fiery coach — an East graduate.
“Actually, we were so rushed getting over here I didn’t have time to really think about it,” Misenheimer said after the winless Cougars lost for the sixth time. “We all got on the wrong bus, and there was lots of confusion. We were late getting here. Amidst all that, I didn’t have a chance to get too excited.”
Neither did her team. East (2-6) jumped ahead 12-1 in the first three minutes, thanks largely to Kelsey Stout. The junior forward hit a 3-pointer from the left corner, a fastbreak layup and a free throw before the big crowd could settle in.
“We wanted to jump out and grab the momentum,” East coach Karen Garmon said. “That’s the first thing we always try to do. We’re constantly talking about that and working on being intense right away. You just have to play like you practice.”
No one performed better than Carson’s Mackenzie White, the senior guard who played like her hair was on fire. She shot with aplomb — pouring in a career-best 33 points — grabbed rebounds left and right and forced several turnovers with her take-no-prisoners brand of defense.
“Yeah,” she later beefed, “I also missed 10 free throws and messed up all the easy stuff.”
White sank back-to-back 3-pointers within a
30-second span to draw Carson within 22-16 early in the second quarter. Moments later she made a steal and drove in for a layup to keep it close,
27-20, with 3:30 left in the first half.
“She’s such a huge part of our game,” Misenheimer said. “But she still hasn’t had an ‘On’ game. If she does she’ll probably score 50.”
The best way to defend White, Stout said, is to deny her the ball.
“They were driving in — and sometimes we left her wide open,” she said. “But usually we tried to get square and put somebody fast on her.”
East was paced by senior forward Rebecca Cooper’s 13 points. Lauren Cress came off the bench and delivered 11 more, including consecutive layups that helped East mount a 41-22 lead just before halftime. Teammate Ashley Collins (10 points) gave the Mustangs three scorers in double figures.
Afterward, Garmon and Misenheimer — teammates on ER’s 1997-98 squad — shared a moment together.
“I just told her what an excellent athlete Mackenzie is,” Garmon said. “I said, ‘No matter who we put on her defensively, Mackenzie’s gonna do what Mackenzie wants to do.’ She’s just that good.”
And last night, so were the Mustangs.
Carson (45) — White 33, Lynn 6, Bell 2, Curtindale 2, Hough 2, Brown, C.Cress, Whitley, Marshall, Beaty, Howell.
East rowan (63) –Cooper 13, L.Cress 11, Collins 10, Poole 9, K.Stout 8, Hill 3, Vanderford 3, S.Stout 3, Barrier 2, Miller 1, Smith, Everhardt.
Carson 8 16 13 8 — 45
E. Rowan 20 21 11 11 — 63
Contact David Shaw at email@example.com.