Prep Basketball: Northwest Cabarrus girls 44, Carson 22

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 2, 2007

By Bill Kiser

Salisbury Post

CHINA GROVE — Carson girls basketball coach Brooke Misenheimer was ready for the highs and lows expected of a first-year program.

But three days after winning their first-ever game, the Cougars came crashing down to Earth on Friday night.

After a ragged first half for both teams, Northwest Cabarrus shifted its defense into high gear and ran away with a 44-22 NPC victory.

Callie Simpkins’ nine points led a balanced attack for the Trojans (11-11, 5-7), with six other players scoring four or more points. Brittany McCain added eight points, Kate Brinkley seven and Kayle Hahn six.

Mackenzie White and Jennifer Hough each had six points for the Cougars (1-19, 1-11), who led 5-2 after the first quarter despite putting up horrendous shooting numbers.

“It’s like we didn’t want to score,” Misenheimer said. “We didn’t have anyone step up and say ‘I want the ball; I want to score.’ You can’t have a situation like that.

“We’ve got people who have proved themselves capable of doing that, but we’ve got to have them do it consistently, do it every night. We didn’t have that tonight.”

Neither side could make baskets in the opening 16 minutes. Northwest Cabarrus shot just 12 percent from the field in the first half, while Carson — fresh off its victory against Mooresville on Tuesday — shot an even-more anemic 9.1 percent.

It took White’s five first-quarter points, including a 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining, to put the Cougars ahead going into the second quarter.

“It was ugly on both sides — nobody could score,” Misenheimer said. “I thought we had a good defensive effort in the first half … but we played uninspired basketball.

“To see the girls after Tuesday’s win, they were on top of the world. I don’t know if you can attribute this to not practicing (Thursday) or laying around all day. … I just don’t know the reason behind this.”

But the Trojans responded, shutting out Carson while getting a pair of baskets by Simpkins in the opening three minutes of the second quarter to put Northwest ahead to stay.

Northwest held the Cougars without a field goal for nearly 15 minutes — that run ended on a Hough 3-pointer with 2:52 left in the third quarter — and forced Carson into 27 turnovers, 16 coming in the second half after the Trojans switched to a man-to-man.

“I had to get some energy going,” NWC coach Moses Smith said. “They picked it up and started getting more layups and inside shots. … I’m trying to push their buttons to see if they’ll respond a little bit, and they’re starting to.”

NWC (44) — Simpkins 9, McCain 8, Brinkley 7, Hahn 6, Bowen 4, Erickson 4, McClure 4, Kiser 2, Hogue, Hauck.

CARSON (22) — Hough 6, White 6, Howell 4, Lynn 3, Curtindale 2, Stewart 1, Brown, Cress, Whitley, Marshall, Beaty.

NWC 2 6 16 20 — 44

Carson 5 0 5 12 — 22

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Contact Bill Kiser at sports@salisburypost.com.

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