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Moir Christmas Classic: Carson boys 64, South Rowan 57

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
Carson’s boys got comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.
The Cougars made one of the best comebacks in school history and beat rival South Rowan 64-57 in the Sam Moir Christmas Classic third-place game on Tuesday.
The fifth-seeded Cougars (6-6) trailed by 10 points with 2:50 remaining in the third quarter, but Darius Moose’s steady offense and reserve Derrick Sewell’s scrappy energy ignited a rally. Carson outscored third-seeded South 29-12 during the last 10 minutes, 50 seconds.
“This was a huge moment for our team,” Carson coach Brian Perry said. “We’ve talked about mental toughness and staying in it when things don’t look good and some calls aren’t going our way. I am so proud that we kept inching our way back.”
Moose finished with 26 points and added eight rebounds while working mostly against Reid Shaver, South’s toughest defender.
“Reid is really athletic, but I used my size,” Moose said.
Sewell, who is listed at 5-10, contributed seven rebounds, including four on the offensive end.
The Cougars outrebounded South (6-6) 42-30, despite 14 boards by B.J. Grant. Grant had half of South’s 16 rebounds in the opening half.
“B.J. was a warrior in there, but you’ve got to have a supporting cast,” South coach John Davis said.
South got double-figure scoring from Hunter Morrison (14), John Davis (13), Shaver (12) and Blake Houston (11). Moose got offensive help from Nick Houston, who had 12 points and four assists.
The teams traded buckets in an even first half, and the Raiders led 32-29 at the break.
The tide temporarily turned against Carson in the third quarter when Shaver fueled an 11-0 spree. Moose was assessed a technical foul and sat down, and a 3-pointer by Davis capped a run that gave the Raiders a 45-35 lead.
“I was talking to Reid, and the official thought I was talking to him and gave me a technical,” Moose said. “Things went against us for a while, but we kept fighting for that China Grove Cup.”
Carson charged back to take a 50-49 lead with 4:52 left when Moose bounced a pass to Cody Clanton for a layup.
South owned its last lead at 54-53 when Blake Houston hit a 3-pointer. South had possession of the ball and the lead and went to its spread offense, but Josh Doby poked the ball loose, and Clanton’s layup with 2:25 left put the Cougars ahead to stay.
Nick Houston hit two key free throws for a 57-54 lead, and Brandon Ferrare swiped the ball when South could have tied with a 3-pointer.
“We had that nice run, but then we fell asleep and let them get back in it,” Coach Davis said. “Carson kept making plays, and we kept making turnovers at the most crucial times.”
carson (64) ó Moose 26, N. Houston 12, Sewell 7, Clanton 6, Doby 4, Ferrare 3, Begic 2, Heggins 2, Walser 2.south ROWAN (57) ó Morrison 14, Davis 13, Shaver 12, B. Houston 11, Grant 6, Johnson 1, Corriher.Carson 9 20 12 23 ó 64
S. Rowan 10 22 14 11 ó 57

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