Prep Basketball: North Iredell boys 76, Carson 61

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 3, 2007

By Steve Huffman

Salisbury Post

CHINA GROVE — Through the opening minutes of the second quarter Friday, the Carson Cougars looked like world beaters, taking a 26-15 lead against North Iredell.

That’s when North coach Tony Davenport called a timeout. Whatever he told his troops apparently worked, as the Raiders regrouped, stepped up their pressure defense and took a halftime lead. They wound up winning 76-61.

“They came out and played hard,” Davenport said of the Cougars. “They were gettin’ on us with that zone.”

Down the stretch, though, the Cougars (1-18, 0-10 NPC) lacked the manpower to stay with the taller and more physical Raiders (11-7, 5-5).

North out-rebounded Carson and dominated the inside game.

Ironically, Carson lost one of its best inside players, Dustin Craft, on the opening tip. Just four seconds into the game, play was halted and Craft had to be helped from the court.

Carson coach Brian Perry said Craft was taken to the hospital and at the very least suffered a severely sprained ankle.

“He said he heard something pop,” Perry said. “Losing him like that really hurt us tonight.”

Despite Craft’s absence, Carson played well, especially in the early going. The Cougars jumped to a 6-0 lead and took their biggest lead at 26-15 when Dylan Kosinski bagged a 3-pointer and followed that almost immediately with a field goal. There was 6:09 remaining in the second quarter when Davenport called the timeout.

North quickly played back into the game, a put-back by Andrew Kyles knotting the score at 32-all with 1:03 left in the half. A 3-pointer by Christopher Tindal gave the Raiders a 35-32 lead at intermission, but Carson still had its chances.

While North went ahead 56-40 by the end of the third quarter, Carson pressed and threatened to make a game of it. A 3-pointer by Josh Doby with 2:43 remaining got the Cougars to within 63-56, but they’d come no closer.

With Carson forced to foul, North converted 14-of-21 free throws in the final quarter.

“We went through a spell where we got shot-happy,” Perry said. “We started the game playing unselfish, but then we started taking the first shot available. That let ’em back in.”

North iredell (76) — Christopher Tindal 24, Stutts 18, Parks 11, Kyles 9, Leach 5, Hawkins 5, Staton 2, Christian Tindal 2, Bringer, Watt, Harvey.

carson (61) — Moose 14, Kosinski 10, Basinger 10, Hutchinson 7, Freeze 7, Doby 5, Fontenot 4, Ferrare 2, Ferguson 2, Craft.

N. Iredell 12 23 21 20 — 76

Carson 15 17 8 21 — 61


Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or shuffman