Carson girls 55, East Rowan 28
By David Shaw
CHINA GROVE — Carson’s girls basketball team wasn’t at its best Wednesday night.
Then again, it didn’t have to be against visiting East Rowan. The Cougars shot just 30 percent from the field but unveiled another defensive showcase and smothered the Mustangs, 55-28, in an important NPC matchup.
“Defense was key,” winning coach Brooke Misenheimer said after Carson (12-4, 6-1) won its third straight game. “Especially on a night when we weren’t shooting well from the get-go. Normally when we come out and we’re hitting and we’re on, that creates a lot of energy for us. This time we had to work for everything.”
Carson limited East (4-11, 2-5) to nine field goals and its lowest point total of the season. First-year Mustangs’ coach Danielle Porter lamented to absence of point guard Ashley Goins, who remains sidelined with a recurring quad injury.
“Without her, we don’t have the experience to break that press,” Porter said. “I’d say nine times out of 10, we were trying to break their press instead of setting up a half-court offense.”
Carson employed a full-court press and a 2-2-1 press and the results were predictable: 28 East turnovers.
“We’d make them throw it away or throw passes that we could pick off,” said Carson sophomore Allison Blackwell.
It was a close game until the middle of the second quarter, when Carson’s Chloe Monroe stuck three consecutive 3-pointers to give the Cougars a 30-12 lead. More importantly, she indicated, was Carson’s relentless defensive effort.
“A lot of teams think we’re just gonna shoot threes all night,” she said. “Lately we’re trying to prove we can do more with our defense and turn mistakes into points.”
Tyesha Phillip didn’t shoot well but led Carson with 12 points and nine rebounds. Monroe netted 11 points while Blackwell contributed nine points, seven rebounds and five steals. East welcomed freshman Karleigh Wike — sidelined since Dec. 29 — back to its lineup, but she was a non-factor.
“For us it just felt disorganized and looked disorganized,” Porter said. “When they were pressing we couldn’t even look up to find an open man.”
EAST ROWAN (28) — Honeycutt 10, Sides 6, Gullett 3, Wike 2, Sabo 2, Rummage 2, Poole 2, Lowe 1, Fry.
CARSON (55) —Phillips 12, Monroe 11, Blackwell 9, Dulkoski 6, Holman 5, Barringer 4, Clark 4, Cloninger 2, White 2, Stirewalt.
E. Rowan 9 5 7 7 — 28
Carson 15 16 11 13 — 55