Prep Basketball: North girls end losing streak
By Mike London
SPENCER ó That swishing sound you heard over in Spencer Monday evening wasn’t a sleigh dashing through the snow, it was North Rowan’s girls basketball team making free throws.
That steady, thumping sound wasn’t Rudolph on your roof, it was Cavalier girls banking in layups.
Downright deadly at the line, North buried free throws to stay in the game in the first half. Then the Cavaliers put away Carson 61-47 with a flurry of second-half layups triggered by pressure defense.
Quon Cuthbertson scored 17 points for the Cavaliers and had more help in the scorebook than usual. Symphony Roberts tossed in a career-high 13.
Breckin Settlemyer had a career game with 17 points for Carson (1-4). Kaylene Livengood hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points.
The Cavaliers (1-3) presented new coach Tony Hillian with his first win.
“Oh yeah, it felt great to get it for him,” veteran guard Cree Turner said. “We were talking more on defense. We knew the only way we were going to get a win was by playing hard and coming together.”
North broke a 17-game losing streak dating back to last season. The Cavaliers had not tasted victory since they beat Carson 46-42 in the 2007 Christmas tournament.
“It was a great collaborative effort,” said Hillian, who watched his team avenge an earlier 49-35 loss to the Cougars in China Grove. “Hard work pays off, and these girls have been putting in the time in the gym day after day after day.”
They’ve been practicing free throws. North made only one field goal in the second quarter, but 9-for-12 foul shooting in the period gave the Cavaliers a 19-18 halftime lead.
It was still anyone’s game when Livengood hit a 3-pointer to cut Carson’s deficit to 29-26 with 2:19 left in the third quarter, but North responded with a decisive 10-1 run. In that spree, Turner made a steal and layup and also beat a sideline trap to feed Mariah Gregory for a layup.
A 3-pointer by Carson’s Jennifer Hough made it 39-30 after three quarter, but North played with confidence and just kept coming. The Cavs piled up 42 points in the second half.
Hough, Livengood and Demya Heggins fouled out, as the Cougars tried to rally. An effective boxout by North’s Tiffany Brown led to Livengood’s fifth foul with 4:23 remaining, and her exit was a big factor in sealing Carson’s fate.
“I’m proud of the fact that we actually had a pulse tonight and had very good effort,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said.
“But give North Rowan a lot of credit. They finished inside and hit their free throws. They did all the things we didn’t do.”
CARSON (47) ó Settlemyer 17, K. Livengood 11, M. Livengood 6, Hough 5, Heggins 5, J. Brown 3, Sellers, Marshall.
North Rowan (61) ó Q. Cuthbertson 17, Roberts 13, Gregory 9, T. Cuthbertson 9, T. Brown 8, Turner 4, Ellis 1, Torrence.
Carson 9 9 12 17 ó 47
N. Rowan 8 11 20 22 ó 61