Prep Baksetball: North Iredell 53, Carson 41

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 26, 2007

By Steve Huffman

Salisbury Post

CHINA GROVE — Mackenzie White drilled a

3-pointer with 6:25 remaining in the third quarter to give Carson an eight-point lead over North Iredell on Friday night.

Cougar fans were beside themselves with excitement, convinced their team’s first win was at hand.

Alas, it was not to be. The Cougars went stone-cold after White’s basket, more than eight minutes ticking off the game clock before they finally scored again. They eventually lost 53-41.

“The ball just wouldn’t fall,” said White, the game’s high-scorer with 18 points. “And we kept making turnovers. We just couldn’t get it together offensively.”

Still, for a while, the Cougars

(0-18, 0-10 NPC) appeared ready to spring a major upset on the Raiders (10-8, 7-3).

After falling behind 14-8 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, Carson battled back, taking a 15-14 lead when Natasha Howell set up a White 3-pointer.

At halftime, the Cougars led 21-17. In the first minute of the third quarter, Kendra Bell scored a basket, followed by a long-range jumper by White that upped the advantage to 26-18.

That’s when Carson’s offense went AWOL. The Cougars didn’t score for the duration of the third quarter, and it was at the 6:15 mark of the fourth quarter before Howell finally banked in a basket.

By that time, North had a 35-28 lead that was never challenged.

“The fact was we just couldn’t score,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “In the first half, we made smart decisions and did a good job of handling their press. In the second half, we just didn’t play smart.”

Still, Misenheimer said she saw a lot to like, the game a big improvement from the teams’ first encounter when North won 67-31.

“Compared to the first game, we played so much better,” Misenheimer said. “I’m proud of the girls for their effort.”

The Raiders went up 39-28 on a pair of free throws by Lakeya Thompson with 5:46 left, and Carson never cut the deficit to less than nine after that.

“We tried to mix up our defenses, and that seemed to work well,” North coach Tami Ramsey said. “But you’ve got to hand it to Carson. They played much more aggressively tonight than they did the first time we played.”

Howell followed White in scoring for Carson, all nine of her points coming in the fourth quarter.

North iredell (53) — Thompson 15, Morrison 12, Orner 9, Carter 7, Arning 6, Thompson 4, Lunsford, Pierce, Stuffs.

carson (41) — White 18, Howell 9, Lynn 8, Bell 4, Brown 2, Hough, Cress, Whitley, Marshall, Stewart.

N. Iredell 9 8 14 22 — 53

Carson 8 13 5 15 — 41

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Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or shuffman @salisburypost.com.

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