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Prep Basketball: Northwest Cabarrus boys 95, Carson 68

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

KANNAPOLIS — Northwest Cabarrus’ Brien Garcia was flat on the floor creating a Carson turnover in the opening seconds of the second half.

What made that hustle impressive was the Trojans were leading the NPC contest by 30 points and already were well on their way to a 95-68 rout of the visiting Cougars.

“We talk about being intent all the time no matter who we’re playing,” Northwest coach Daniel Jenkins said. “Never walk into any gym thinking you’re going to win without being the more intense team.”

Northwest (12-3, 4-1) was more intense, more talented and more everything than the young Cougars, who ran head-long into a buzz-saw and got blown out big-time for the first time in a league game.

The points were the most allowed by Carson (1-13, 0-5) in the first-year school’s short history, and 37 came in the Trojans’ destructive second quarter in which they forced 13 turnovers and mauled the Cougars 21-5 on the boards.

“They’re good, they played well, and obviously we’ve got to get a lot better defensively,” Carson coach Brian Perry said. “When you take a beating like this, all you can do is try to learn from it, try to figure out what you didn’t do well that you can do better next time.”

Carson sophomore Brandon Ferguson had another exciting night, although four of his six 3-pointers and 21 of his 27 points came in the second half after the outcome was decided.

Senior Clint Fontenot scored nine points and blocked three shots, but otherwise it was a disappointing evening for the Cougars, who battled league-leading West Rowan to the wire on Friday and hoped to build on that showing.

Northwest had five double-digit scorers, including reserves Garrett West and Akeem Dixon, who produced 13 points apiece.

Point guard Jon Hathcock led the Trojans with 16 points. Garcia had 15, and Nick Quigley contributed 13.

Carson stayed close in the first quarter with sizzling (8-for-12) shooting, but once the Trojans stepped up their defensive pressure in the second quarter, the Cougars disappeared faster than Ohio State’s football title hopes.

Carson hit one field goal in the second quarter, watched Northwest pour in a stream of layups and stickbacks and trailed 61-30 at halftime.

“We shared the ball great,” Jenkins said. “We believe great basketball players don’t make tough shots. Great basketball players work hard to get wide-open shots, and we were moving well without the ball and finding people.

“Carson competed hard. It was just a night everything fell into place for us.”

Both Jenkins and Hathcock had praise for the Cougars, despite the lopsided score.

“We knew they had played a lot of teams tough,” Hathcock said. “They were a scrappy team, even though the scoreboard may not show it.

“No. 22 (Ferguson) is a player and showed us how he could shoot the ball in the second half. I liked that little No. 3 (Brandon Ferrare) too. He was a tough player.”

Northwest visits West (12-2, 5-0) for a showdown on Wednesday.

CARSON (68) — Ferguson 27, Fontenot 9, Moose 8, Ferrare 5, Hutchinson 5, Craft 4, Freeze 3, Kosinski 3, Yates 2, Horne 2, Smalls.

NW CABARRUS (95) — Hathcock 16, Garcia 15, West 13, Dixon 13, Quigley 13, Black 8, Wright 7, Allison 6, Hoopingarner 2, Walker 2, Blount.

Carson 19 11 15 23 — 68

NWC 24 37 19 15 — 95

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Contact Mike London at 704-797-4256 or mlondon@salisburypost.com.

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