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Prep Basketball: Carson boys 54, West Iredell 47

By Sean Rinehart
sports@salisburypost.comCHINA GROVE — In a game that was overflowing with intensity, the Carson boys were able to put West Iredell away for good late in the fourth quarter to seal an important 54-47 NPC victory.
The first quarter was rough for both squads, as both teams failed to hit some easy baskets. Carson coach Brian Perry was subbing in players constantly in an effort to keep his team fresh and enthusiastic.
“West gave us everything we could handle tonight,” said an ecstatic coach Perry.
Carson led 13-11 leadwhen things got crazy. Carson was called for five travelling violations, while West Iredell accumulated three of their own. A couple of those traveling calls against Carson nullified some important baskets by Colton Laws and DJ Love.
Perry got creative in the second quarter by placing Laws at the top of the key in his zone defense. This forced West Iredell to move around more in order to account for Laws’ length.
“This game is a little bittersweet,” said West Iredell coach Benjamin Johnson. “This is the best execution we have shown all year. They showed me a different side of them tonight.”
With 5:10 left in the third quarter, Carson led by 11, but West Iredell battled back with a few NBA-style three pointers by C.J. Gibbs and some costly Carson turnovers.
The Warriors cut the deficit to one with 2:30 left but went cold at the worst possible time, and Carson managed to get some easy layups combined with some pivotal free throws.
“We stepped it up and hit big free throws when we needed to,” said Perry.
West was led by fiery C.J. Gibbs, who accumulated 14 points by going 5-for-11 and 4-for-7 from being the 3-point arc.
“I won’t fault them for their effort because they gave 100 percent,” said Johnson. “We just didn’t come up with it.”
The Cougars were paced by the high-motored Laws, who had 13 points.
What cannot be measured, however, is the dynamic that Laws brings to the floor. He looks like a center and plays like a point guard. He forced some key turnovers and hit some big shots during the second quarter to help his team hold on to a much-needed win.
Not to be outdone, Tre Williams hit four big free throws at the end of the fourth quarter after being intentionally fouled by West Iredell in an attempt to get the ball back.
Carson needed a team effort laced with execution in order to pull this one out, and the Cougars got just that.
“We’re happy with the win,” said coach Perry. “That’s for sure.”
WEST IREDELL (47) — Gibbs 14, Phifer 12, Summers 9, J. Gray 7, Ellis 4, D. Gray 1.
CARSON (54) — Laws 13, Williams 12, Love 10, Stout 10, Howard 4, Raper 3, Abbitt 2, Broome, Bigelow, Martin, Gilbert.
W. Iredell 13 6 16 12 — 47
Carson 11 11 17 15 — 54

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