Carson boys 75, A.L. Brown 48
By Mike London
CHINA GROVE ó Carson coach Brian Perry nearly had a stroke opening night because Nick Houston couldn’t locate his 3-point stroke.
Houston’s struggles contributed to a nerve-wracking, four-point win at Davie, but no worries.
Houston can still shoot. A.L. Brown will testify to that in court.
Houston nailed six 3-pointers on Monday, including four in a second-quarter flurry. That jolt of electricity knocked out the short-handed Wonders, who are still minus their football players.
Carson led by 16 points at halftime and cruised 75-48 behind 27 points and 11 rebounds by Darius Moose and 20 points by Houston.
“I just never found a rhythm at Davie,” Houston said. “Tonight, I found it. They were doubling down on Moose and gave me the open shots.”Zach Wagner chipped in with two more 3s, and Derrick Sewell provided eight points off the bench. Sewell not only took charge, he took charges.
The same Wonders scored 83 points to knock off South Rowan last Thursday, but Carson (2-0) gave up fewer layups and free throws than the Raiders did.
“We couldn’t get anything at all from our halfcourt offense,” Brown coach Shelwyn Klutz said.
Guard Ian Rogers paced the Wonders with 19 points, but no one else reached double digits.
“Defense is about all we’ve talked about, and there were times tonight when we defended really well,” Perry said.
With Wagner hitting an early 3, Carson jumped ahead 11-3. After Klutz took a timeout, the Wonders (1-1) roared back with 12-2 run for a two-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
But in the second quarter, Houston hit four 3s in a span of three minutes, 15 seconds. With Carson clinging to a 26-23 lead, Houston hit three straight 3s to push the lead to 12. It was bang-bang-bang.
Then Sewell dropped in two buckets. Next, Moose and Cody Clanton soared for a double-block ó volleyball-style ó to end the half. Carson ended the half on a 19-2 run, and the first 2-0 start in Carson basketball history was assured.
“We had no answer for Moose, and Houston lit us up,” Klutz said. “Carson’s just a very experienced team. We couldn’t match them.”
Carson put on an offensive clinic early in the third quarter and pushed the lead past 30 points. Moose swooped past defenders to hit four straight shots. Brandon Ferrare and Devon Heggins drove by people. Houston went 0-for-2 at the foul line but 2-for-2 from the 3-point line in the quarter as the lead swelled.
“Nick was stroking it like we know he can,” Perry said. “It was nice not to have to sweat one right down to the end. We just had more experience out there than Kannapolis did. They’ll be a very good team when they get all their players.”
NOTES: A.L. Brown’s Chandler Reynolds took a charge and blocked two of Moose’s shots. … Rogers shot a sizzling 9-for-12 from the field. He just didn’t get much help. … Dylan Eagle and Deonte Moses scored the first points of their varsity careers for the Cougars. … It was the first time the schools have squared off in basketball, although they’ve met in baseball. … Moose, who is headed to Brevard, has scored 53 points and yanked down 15 rebounds in the Cougars’ first two outings. He has 1,282 career points. … Clanton, who scored 14 points at Davie, wasn’t a big factor against the Wonders. … Carson’s large student section helped do in the young Wonders. … There was no shortage of celebrities, with K.P. Parks and B.J. Sherrill leading a group of West Rowan players who dropped by to support Moose. Parks hugged Moose as he walked down the sideline to the exit. … Wagner’s brother, Daniel, the pro baseball player, also was in the house.A.L. BROWN (48) ó Rogers 19, Reynolds 8, Copeland 7, Stark 6, Jones 5, Carr 3, Fesperman, Miller, Morrison, Howie, Evans, Waddell.
CARSON (75) ó Moose 27, Houston 20, Sewell 8, Wagner 7, Heggins 5, Ferrare 4, Eagle 2, Moses 2, Raper, Long, Barringer, Clanton, Crossen, Wood.
A.L. Brown 15 8 16 9 ó 48
Carson 13 26 25 11 ó 75