Prep Basketball: West Iredell girls 48, Carson 29
By Bret Strelow
CHINA GROVE — Exuberance gave way to exhaustion.
Carson’s girls played third-place West Iredell tough for the second time but lost 48-29 on Tuesday.
Buzzer-beating shots helped the Cougars (0-17, 0-9 NPC) tie the game at the end of the first and second quarters, and West Iredell (12-6, 6-3) held a 30-25 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“I know our girls are disappointed because I felt like we had all the momentum as the first half ended,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “They were excited; they were pumped. They knew that we could be in this game.
“The fourth quarter really killed us. … We had really worked hard, and we were dead by the start of the fourth.”
Mackenzie White scored 12 of her 13 points in the first half to lead Carson, which trailed 31-29 heading into the fourth quarter of a 45-33 loss to the Warriors on Dec. 19.
That game ranks as the second closest of the season for the Cougars, who fell 34-33 against Mooresville. They enjoyed another strong showing last night.
Courtney Cress took a charge in the final minute of the first quarter, and White slashed through the Warriors’ press before making a game-tying layup with 0.6 seconds left in the period.
West Iredell led 16-14 as it prepared to inbound the ball in its backcourt with 13.0 seconds left in the second quarter.
Carson guard Jennifer Hough sprinted from halfcourt as Stephanie Allison, who was stationed a few feet from the baseline, extended her hands for the pass. Hough forced a jump ball, and the arrow favored the Cougars.
“We talked about just playing hard,” Misenheimer said. “We’re not focusing on wins and losses. We’re not focusing on numbers. We’re focusing on playing hard for the entire game. I felt like (Hough) really brought that. She was that boost of energy.”
Hough passed the ball to Cress on the last possession of the first half, and Cress hit a turnaround jumper to tie the game.
“I was pumped up, and the team was pumped up,” said Hough, who had a total of 10 points in Carson’s first 16 games and scored a career-high eight points Tuesday. “We had a good attitude at the beginning, and we weren’t slacking off. At halftime, we came back out and were all fired up and ready to go.”
West Iredell opened the half with a 9-2 run and led 30-23 after three quarters. Carson guard Jazzmin Brown hit a jumper one minute into the fourth, and she was called for traveling right before making another one with 6:04 left.
Two more turnovers led to a pair of fastbreak baskets and a 34-25 lead for West Iredell.
“We had some big steals,” West Iredell coach Josh Weddington said. “When we get transition points, we start feeling a little better about ourselves.”
WEST IREDELL (48) — Dagenhart 12, Allison 11, Laws 7, Redmon 6, Waugh 4, Branch 3, Stroud 3, Melvin 2, Stokes, Rufty, Allegro.
CARSON (29) — White 13, Hough 8, Lynn 4, Cress 2, Brown 2, Howell, Whitley, Curtindale, Marshall.
W. Iredell 6 10 14 18 — 48
Carson 6 10 7 6 — 29
Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.