Prep Basketball: East Rowan boys 57, Carson 51: Fans storm court after third straight victory
By Ryan Bisesi
GRANITE QUARRY — Last year, seemingly nothing went right for the East Rowan boys.
Tuesday night, even when the Mustangs fell down, they progressed.
Weston Rogers hit the floor and hit the shot at the end of a 3-point attempt to give East the lead for keeps in a 57-51 win against Carson. The Mustangs, with all of two wins last year, doubled that total with a triumph in the conference opener and were greeted after the game by a court-storming from the student section.
“That’s taking a giant step forward,” East coach Trey Ledbetter said. “Conference games are much more hotly contested than non-conference.”
East (4-4, 1-0) extended one streak, winning its third straight, and ended another in beating Carson for the first time in the last eight tries. The Mustangs are all of a sudden as hot as the gym they play in.
“You can tell they’re a little more seasoned,” Carson coach Brian Perry said of East. “They can handle the ball and that gives them an opportunity to win.”
The game featured 10 lead changes and five ties. East pulled away late with a bevy of big shots and rebounds.
Rogers’ team-high 13 points included the aforementioned trey, which made it 32-30 East in the final minute of the third quarter.
“Weston’s kind of that shooter that we know to look for when he comes in,” Ledbetter said. “It was a very big momentum shot.”
“I don’t even remember it to tell you the truth,” Rogers said. “It was a great feeling though.”
East’s Jared Hough hit a jumper while being fouled with 3:41 left. The free throw was off, but Tyler L’ Hommedieu followed up with a rebound and a put back basket for a 43-37 lead.
With 1:41 left and East holding a 46-41, Jordan Shepherd got inside position on Colton Laws, who sunk a layup on a fast break while barreling over Shepherd. Laws was called for a charge and the points were wiped out.
“It was a big call,” Perry said. “Me and the ref had a disagreement, but there’s calls like that in every game. All the credit to East Rowan. Every time we made a run, they’d have an answer.”
East shot 20 free throws in the final quarter and made six of its final eight to hang on. Gittens, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds, finished an open layup with 52 seconds left to make it 52-45. 11 of the Mustangs’ last 13 points came at the foul line.
Carson (2-6, 0-1) led 13-12 after one quarter, but managed just five points on two field goals in the second quarter. East’s Hakeem Gittens and Josh Gobble hit baskets before the half to put East up 22-18 at the break.
The Cougars got a game-high 18 points from Tre Williams and 14 from Colton Laws. Williams hit a 3 with 1:12 left to make it 47-44, but Carson never got closer.
“The kids are ecstatic,” Ledbetter said. “We’re 4-4, 1-0 in the conference and anytime you see your name at the top, it’s great. It’s a wonderful world right now.”
CARSON (51) — Williams 18, Laws 14, Love 6, Gilbert 4, Abbitt 4, Raper 3, Stout 2, Howard.
EAST ROWAN (57) — Rogers 13, Gittens 10, Shepherd 9, Hough 8, L’Hommedieu 8, Holmes 5, Gobble 4, Honeycutt, Means.
Carson 13 5 12 21 — 51
E. Rowan 12 10 10 25 — 57
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