Cougar girls scare Warriors

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2006

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

STATESVILLE — Most nights Carson girls coach Brooke Misenheimer has measured her first-year team’s progress in inches — or even centimeters.

But the Cougars crawled several yards on Tuesday night. They played even with West Iredell for three quarters before the Warriors (7-1, 1-0) pulled away for a 45-33 NPC victory.

Amanda Stroud’s 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter that stretched West’s Iredell’s precarious two-point lead to five was the key moment.

“Amanda was sick, but she made a big shot for us,” West Iredell coach Josh Weddington said. “That one was a momentum-changer. When she made it, everyone on our bench went, ‘Whew!’ We could finally breathe.”

Post players Hannah Dagenhart and Shauna Redmon combined for 21 points for the Warriors.

Everyone kept waiting for Carson (0-7, 0-1) to collapse in its first-ever league game, but the patient Cougars stayed right in it, trailing 21-18 at halftime and 31-29 heading to the fourth quarter.

Bronwynne Curtindale (nine points), Charlena Lynn (eight points) and Mackenzie White (seven assists, four steals) led the Cougars, who shot 48 percent from the field the first three quarters.

Youngsters Taylor Whitley and Sarah Marshall didn’t score often but made few mistakes. The wild passes and out-of-control dribbles that characterized some earlier Carson games vanished. The Cougars cut their turnovers down to 25 and never looked clueless.

“This was a better game,” Misenheimer said. “On the bench in the second half, everyone was like, ‘Oh, my God, we can win this.’ ”

White was held to five points and was defended well by West point guard Stephanie Allison and her teammates. White shot 1-for-10 from the field, but her slick passing got her teammates seven layups and she kept things organized on both ends of the floor.

“It was by far our best effort as far as team defense,” Misenheimer said. “So many times, everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

In the end, West Iredell was just too big and strong in the paint. Carson didn’t have the firepower to rally after the Warriors scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter on Stroud’s 3, Katie Allegro’s shot in the lane and a breakaway layup by Allison.

“Carson played very well for 31/2 quarters,” Weddington said. “But we’ve got a lot of seniors, and we’ve been able to squeeze out the wins this year. We didn’t win those down-to-the-wire games last year.”

Carson moved closer to a victory of its own, but there was pain with the growth.

“Everybody knew we had a chance to win,” White said. “We could almost taste the victory and had it in our hands. That makes it hurt. This hurts a lot worse than the blowouts.”

carson (33) — Curtindale 9, Lynn 8, White 5, Howell 4, Whitley 3, Marshall 2, Hough 2.

West iredell (45) — Dagenhart 11, Redmon 10, Allison 9, Stroud 7, Allegro 6, Laws 2, Melvin, Linebarger, Waugh, Rufty.

Carson 10 8 11 4 — 33

W. Iredell 13 8 10 14 — 45

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

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