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Prep Basketball: Carson boys 56, Cox Mill 42

By Ryan Bisesi
rbisesi@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE ó Carson came out with renewed energy and focus in the second half against Cox Mill Tuesday night. The wake-up call was needed to shake Carson out of the early-season doldrums.
The result saw the Cougars turn a 31-24 halftime deficit into a their first win of the season in a 56-42 triumph at home. Cox Mill was held to just two field goals and 11 points in the second half as Carson pulled away with a stout defensive effort.
ěI thought we really came to play defensively the whole second half,î Carson coach Brian Perry said. ěI found out tonight that we can make some adjustments at the half.î
A typical early-season game saw points hard to come by, but Carson sophomore Tre Williams had a career-high 15 points in the win.
ěWeíre going to be an aggressive team,î Williams said. ěWe like to keep the enthusiasm up. People were quiet but we had to tell them the game wasnít over.î
It was an important win for Carson, who was drilled 70-45 by Hickory Ridge last week in the season opener.
Cox Mill (1-2) scored the final 11 points of the first half. Myquon Stout converted a 3-point play with 4:35 left to make it 24-20. Luke Pepper and Travis Watkins hit 3s to give the Chargers their first lead with 1:15 left. Pepper drained another trey with 28 seconds to play to end the scoring for the half.
After Aqiyl Mustafaís basket in the third quarter, Cox Mill didnít score for over eight minutes. Mustafaís shot was the only points of the quarter for the Chargers.
ěWe couldnít put it in the ocean,î Cox Mill coach Brad Hinson said. ěWe werenít executing plays and werenít setting good screens. Give Carson credit for forcing us to go where they wanted us to go.î
Rameiq Howard hit a drive while being fouled and completed a 3-point play to pull Carson (1-1) within a point at 33-32. Williams then scored on consecutive possessions and Carson never lost its lead.
ěThey missed some shots,î Perry said. ěIt happened tonight that we handled the ball a little better than we have been.î
The Cougars led 38-33 at the end of the third and Jacob Raper kept it going with a trey to open the fourth. Senior Dontae Gilbert got a layup with 6:25 left and his drive down the lane with 5:32 left capped a 16-0 run and forced Cox Mill to call timeout.
Justin Peaceís 3-pointer finally gave the Chargers a field goal in the fourth to put them within 45-40 with 2:22 to go. Free throws by Raper, Stout and Colton Laws pushed the lead back out to 50-40 with under a minute to ply.
Gilbert finished with 10 points as did Cox Millís Jordan Peace.
CARSON (56) ó Williams 15, Gilbert 10, Laws 9, Stout 6, Raper 6, Love 4, Abbitt 3, Howard 3.
COX MILL (42) ó Jor. Peace 10, Pepper 8, Mustafa 6, Harris 5, McKnight 4, Watkins 4, Jus. Peace 3, Simms 2, Thomas.
Cox Mill 13 18 2 9 ó 42
Carson 17 7 14 18 ó 56

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