Moir Christmas Classic: Carson boys 74, East Rowan 51

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 27, 2008

By Ronnie Gallagher
Carson’s Brandon Ferarre darted down the court, sped by two defenders and served up a pretty bounce pass for a layup.
Ferarre was obviously having a lot of fun on the Goodman Gym court against a listless East Rowan club Saturday in the first-round of the Sam Moir Christmas Classic. So much fun, in fact, that his teammates wanted to join in:
Nick Houston to Ferarre for a layup. Selig Begic to Darius Moose for an easy two. Ferrare to Moose again.
They weren’t through.
Houston to Bejic. Aaron Walser to Ferrare. Josh Doby to Moose.
The fifth-seeded Cougars (5-5) ran circles around fourth-seeded East, leading by as many as 28 before settling for a a 74-51 win.
“We’ve emphasized that,” Carson coach Brian Perry said of the passing game vs. the early season one-pass-and-jack mentality. “Maybe it’s sinking in.”
East (4-5) had problems sinking anything. Greg McKenzie’s Mustangs scored just one basket in the first period, trailing 10-2, and one basket in the second. By halftime, East was down 23-9.
“We can handle giving up 10 points in one quarter,” McKenzie said he told his players. “We can handle 23 points at halftime. But we’ve got to score. It’s hard to explain how you miss a bunch of 2-footers.”
No explanation was needed on why Carson played with such a fervor. The Cougars had lost to East a week earlier on their home floor.
“We had something to prove because of the first time,” said Ferrare, a lightning-quick point guard.
East was never in the game. Seven turnovers and 1-for-8 shooting in the first quarter was something the Mustangs couldn’t overcome. At halftime, Daniel Plummer was 2-for-2 from the floor. His teammates were 0-for-19. Meanwhile Cody Clanton was scoring six second-quarter points as Carson built a 14-point lead.
Many of East’s turnovers were traveling calls. McKenzie didn’t go straight to the locker room at intermission, instead calling the referees over to discuss those travels.
He walked to the locker room after being tagged with a technical.
Houston started the second half by converting the technical foul shots. Ferrare drove for four quick points and the rout was on.
“Playing at 1:30, there wasn’t going to be a very big crowd,” Perry said. “Brandon created energy for us.”
East couldn’t match the intensity.
“We’ve got a bunch of quiet kids,” McKenzie said. “They’re not the most enthusiastic guys by nature.”
Carson ended a 26-point third quarter on a Moose jumper for a 49-25 lead. Carson finished the game shooting 50 percent (20-for-40).
“Our guys are so mental,” Perry said. “When we get a lead, we play pretty well.”
McKenzie was pleased that his team never gave up in the second half, actually scoring 42 points, 15 by his son, Chris.
Carson shot a whopping 53 free-throw attempts.
“We made 31 so we had the right people on the line a lot of the times,” Perry said.
Moose was the game’s high scorer with 22 points to go along with 11 strong rebounds.
But Ferrare was the Cougar who drove East crazy. The 5-foot-8 jitterbug had 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“Carson was ready to play,” McKenzie said. “They were a little more motivated. I hope our guys learned a lesson that you’ve gotta be ready every game.
“It was just one of those days.”

NOTES: Clanton scored nine points, including 7-of-8 from the line … Houston matched Ferarre with four assists.
Carson (74) ó Moose 22, Ferrare 15, Houston 10, Clanton 9, Sewell 7, Doby 6, Walser 2, Begic 2, Wagner 1, Jones, Higgins, Barringer, Raper, Britt, Ramic.
east rowan (51) ó McKenzie 15, Ajayi 6, Plummer 5, Weber 5, Honeycutt 5, Slater 4, Grohman 4, Torrence 3, Morton 2, Mancil 2, Allen, Moore.Carson 10 13 26 25 ó 74
E. Rowan 2 7 16 26 ó 51