Prep Basketball: Carson boys 72, South Rowan 60
By Marny Hendrick
LANDIS — Despite a season of frustration and a pair of 2-8 records, South Rowan and Carson engaged in an intense neighborhood battle Wednesday night in the Raider gym.
In the end it was the visiting Cougars who rallied from a double digit deficit with a strong second half and claimed a 72-60 North Piedmont Conference win.
Sophomore guard Tre Williams led the charge for the Cougars (3-8, 1-2) with 25 points, 19 in the second half while center Colton Laws and forward DJ Love added critical points and rebounds.
“We just came together and stopped being selfish and careless with the ball, “ Williams said of the big rally. “We are starting to play as a team and starting to grow up.”
In the early stages it was the host Raiders who got hot and bolted to a 20-10 first period lead behind guardShawn Spry. A long three by Spry at 5:35 of the second quarter gave the Raiders their biggest margin at 27-14 but it would not hold up.
Carson Coach Brian Perry called it a possible “coming of age” moment for his team composed of mostly sophomores and juniors. He kept urging his squad to play tough defense and be smart on theoffensive end. They chipped away to trail by only six at halftime, then finally caught and passed the Raiders in the final two minutes of the third period. Williams rained in a trio of threes, Laws 16 points, 10 rebounds) started controlling the boards and Love (13 points) contributed a number of putbacks and assists.
The comeback was aided by a questionable technical foul on Raider big man Bonner Buchannan for grabbing the rim on a fast break dunk attempt. Williams hit the two free throws then Love fed Laws for a lay-up to put the Cougars ahead for the first time 40-38. Another 3 by Williams expanded the lead to 47-41 after three and South (2-9, 0-3) never got closer than 5 the rest of the way.
“This is a great rivalry and a great atmosphere,” Perry said. “To come in here and get a win like this is great for our team.”
Raider Coach John Davis would never make excuses but his team was missing key starters Qua Neal and Nathan Lambert due to illness and injury. Then with just under 6 minutes left to play and South down 5, they lost their key inside leader Josh Medlin to a mouth laceration due to a fast break collision with the floor.
“We just missed a lot of easy shots and didn’t take advantage of our opportunities,” Davis said. “ We had a strong first half but couldn’t make it stand up.”
The Raiders were led by Spry with 19 points and guard Robbie Sherrill with 9.
South cannot dwell on the loss as they must turn around and face a tough J.M. Robinson team at home tonight in a non-conference.
CARSON (72) — Williams 25, Laws 16, Love 13, Stout 5, Howard 5, Raper 4, Gilbert 2, Abbitt 2.
SOUTH ROWAN (60) —Spry 19, Sherrill 9, Medlin 8, Allen 6, Washington 5, Tyler 4, Buchanan 3, Goodman 2, Parker 2, Oulette, Garlin,
Carson 10 14 23 25 — 72
S. Rowan 20 10 11 19 — 60