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Prep basketball: Carson boys 60, Davie 56

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
MOCKSVILLE ó Carson basketball star Darius Moose can finally get a good night’s sleep.
The Brevard-bound senior led the Cougars to a 60-56 win at Davie County on Saturday, scoring 26 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and burying clutch foul shots.
Moose was eager to get back out there. His junior season ended with a 64-61 playoff loss at Gastonia Forestview on Feb. 23, and if Moose had been Moose that night, the Cougars would’ve won. He scored four points.”Worst game of my life, and I had to get some redemption for it,” Moose said. “It’s been on my mind for months ever since that playoff game.”
The slate is clean now. Carson is 1-0.
Moose’s great effort wouldn’t have been enough without Cody Clanton scoring 14 points one night after his stellar football season ended.
“It was rough with a turnaround that short,” Clanton said. “Football and basketball ó that’s two completely different types of conditioning.”
Quick point guard Brandon Ferrare scored 11 points for the Cougars and caused problems for Davie on both ends of the floor. Devon Heggins and Derrick Sewell, another football player, made hustle plays. Nick Houston couldn’t find his 3-point shot, but he contributed six assists.
“That’s one thing I’m not worried about,” coach Brian Perry said. “Nick’s the best shooter we’ve got, and he’ll usually make the shots he had tonight.
“The good thing was he passed well, got in there and rebounded, found some other ways to help us win.”
Springy Shannon Dillard, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, scored 21 for the War Eagles, but Carson shut him out in the fourth quarter.
“I had to box him out because it’s not like I was gonna outjump him,” Moose said. “I was able to front the post, and my teammates helped me out on the lobs. Our team defense got us this win.”
Carson led most of the game, but there was never much breathing room. Dillard was out for several minutes in the second quarter after taking a hard fall, but he had 13 points in the first half to keep the War Eagles close. Carson led 24-21 at the break.
“Dillard is so athletic,” Perry said. “There were times he just played over us.”
Davie started to dent Carson’s tenacious man-to-man defense in the third quarter with backdoor cuts, and the pace picked up. Davie shot 7-for-10 in the quarter, but Carson still was ahead 45-40 heading to the final eight minutes.
After Ferrare hit both ends of a one-and-one, Carson led 56-49 with two minutes left, but then it got frantic. Davie’s Jamal Mayfield, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, hit a 3-pointer to cut the Cougars’ lead to 56-54 with 1:23 remaining.
After Clanton missed a 3, Dillrard got the defensive board and Davis Absher, son of coach Mike Absher, was fouled with 40 seconds left. Absher made the front end of a one-and-one to pull Davie within 56-55, but he missed the second. Moose got the rebound.
Moose took over from there, knocking down four straight free throws and cleaning the glass on Davie’s last two misses.
“It’s the first time we’ve played Carson even though we’ve seen them in the Christmas tournament,” Mike Absher said. “Moose is a player, but I thought we competed very well for a first game and for us as young as we are.”
CARSON (60) ó Moose 26, Clanton 14, Ferrare 11, Houston 4, Heggins 2, Sewell 2, Crossen 1, Wagner.
DAVIE (56) ó Dillard 21, Mayfield 15, Absher 8, Jones 6, Neely 4, Redmon 2, Williams, Simmons.Carson 13 11 21 15 ó 60
Davie 10 11 19 16 ó 56

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