Moir Christmas Classic: South Rowan girls 42, Carson 32
By Bret Strelow
Lead assistant Laurie Corriher filled in for two full games, and South Rowan’s girls didn’t falter.
She’s happy to hand the reins back to head coach Jim Brooks.
The second-seeded Raiders won 42-32 against seventh-seeded Carson in a first-round game of the Sam Moir Christmas Classic on Saturday at Catawba, and Brooks is eligible to return for Monday’s semifinal matchup with East Rowan.
Brooks was ejected in the second quarter of a 57-43 loss to East on Dec. 19, and he missed the next two games. With Corriher serving as the head coach, South edged West Rowan and held off Carson.
“I think I did my job, but I’m ready for him to come back,” Corriher said with a laugh. “That’s what works so well with us ó he knows I’m not after his job.”
Catawba signee Taylor May had 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks to lead the Raiders (7-3). Nikki Graham recorded six steals, including four in the first half, and Molly Garrett grabbed eight rebounds. Krista Haywood contributed nine points and six boards.
Kaylene Livengood scored 10 points for Carson (1-9), and Breckin Settlemyer had 10 rebounds. The Cougars never trailed by more than 12 points, but South led by at least seven throughout the second half.
“We just had a lot of missed opportunities,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “I think right now, at this point in the season, we’re hurting ourselves. We’re making turnovers, we’re not shooting the ball well, we’re not putting our easy shots in. We’re having missed box-outs at really critical times.
“When we cut it to maybe seven or five, we have to be able to look at the scoreboard and go down and get a stop and then look to attack offensively. We’re not doing a good job after chopping into the lead.”
Marissa Sellers opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer that pushed Carson ahead 10-6, and the Raiders responded with a 17-3 run.
Graham made several steals after South switched to a 3-2 zone and May, who didn’t score in the first quarter, had eight of the first 12 points in the run.
“A lot of our team confidence is in our defense, so once we find our rhythm in our defense, we find our rhythm in our offense,” May said. “It plays off each other.
“We didn’t look for each other at all in the first quarter. We didn’t look for the pass; we didn’t look for the shot. We just kind of ran around. Then we slowed it down, set up our offense and everything fell together.”
CARSON (32) ó K.Livengood 10, Marshall 7, M.Livengood 6, Sellers 3, Settlemyer 2, Brown 2, Holman 2, Hough, Heggins, Clark, Monroe.
SOUTH ROWAN (42) ó May 18, K.Haywood 9, Graham 4, Goins 4, Sides 4, Garrett 3, Morrow, W.Haywood.
Carson 7 8 10 7 ó 32
S. Rowan 6 17 12 7 ó 42