Moir Christmas Classic semifinals: Carson girls 67, South Rowan 45
By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — Carson decided to entertain South Rowan a bit longer than the last time to two squads faced off.
In their meeting last week, Carson led 26-1 at the end of the first quarter. This time, the Cougars waited until the second half to pull away in a 67-45 win in the Moir Christmas Classic semifinal Wednesday night.
Carson eventually gathered 18 steals and forced 29 turnovers even though it felt South lingered a little too long.
The Cougars led 25-19 at halftime before a third quarter where they outscored their rival 29-11. Carson ended up with four players with double figures in scoring, critical for a team that faces area power Salisbury today for the championship. Salisbury has won eight straight Moir titles and Carson, the tournament’s top seed, has won 12 straight to open the season.
“I just didn’t feel like we were with it in the first half,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “Just really sluggish on the defensive end, and on the offensive end, we didn’t hit shots we usually hit.”
Carson went back to a familiar friend in the second half, that being the 3-point lien.
Chloe Monroe had a tonesetter as she hit a 3 to open the second half. Kelly Dulkoski got two of her game-high 15 points on the next possession to bring the lead to 30-19.
“We realized we were only up by six at halftime,” Dulkoski said. “We picked up the intensity and wanted to make a point.”
All of Goodman Gym saw it. Carson (12-0) shot 70 percent (14 of 20) in the second half and hit seven threes as a team. Monroe was 4 of 6 from behind the arc. Sarrah Holman was 2 of 5 from 3.
Carson’s defensive pressure skyrocketed and forced South to shoot 2 of 11 from 3-point range in addition to the turnovers. 25 points off of turnovers for Carson followed from the press.
“Defensively, we shouldn’t have changed anything in the first half,” South coach Jarrod Smith said. “We just started losing our man and bad things happen when you do that against good teams.”
Holman and Monroe each finished with 12 for Carson while Tyesha Phillips and Alex Allen each scored eight.
“We talked about what our goals are at halftime,” Misenheimer said. “I’m really proud of how we came out in the third quarter.”
South (5-9) got 13 points from Kayla Corriher and 12 each from Avery Locklear and Lauren Miller.
Carson led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter and Monroe hit a trey to start the second. Corriher and Ashlyn Coley hit shots to pull South within 25-19. The Cougars were 9 for 29 from the field in the first half.
“It was going to have to be a completely different second half,” Misenheimer said. “The third quarter was going to be very telling as who was going to gain the momentum.”
The Raiders cut it to 35-26 on Locklear’s trey with 5:15 left in the third. That prompted an 11-0 Carson run, starting with Allison Blackwell’s jumper and ending on Phillips’ layup.
“You have to guard them man-to- man,” South coach Jarrod Smith said. “You have to close down the shooters and you’ve got to box out. They’ve got so many girls who can hit the 3.”
Carson led 54-30 at the end of the third quarter.
“We ran the floor well in transition and that’s what we want to do,” Misenheimer said. “That’s what we should have done in the first half. It’s like we were a totally different team in the second half.”
SOUTH ROWAN (45) — K. Corriher 13, Locklear 12, Miller 12, L. Corriher 4, Stamey 4, Coley, Hubbard, McConneaughey, Bost, Honeycutt, McCoy.
CARSON (67) — Dulkoski 15, Monroe 12, Holman 12, Blackwell 10, Phillips 8, Allen 8, Barringer 1, Parks 1, Cole, Gray, VanVoorhis, Stirewalt.
S. Rowan 9 10 11 15 — 45
Carson 16 9 29 13 — 67