SALISBURY — There would be no 50 for Salisbury but Carson was sitting pretty sweet at 60.
That was the number of points Carson had to score to fend off a six-year long county winning streak by Salisbury in a 60-48 triumph Friday night. The Hornets’ streak stopped at 49 in their third game of the season.
The contest carried all of the dramatics that were present in the Moir Tournament Championship last year only with a different end result.
“We wanted this one bad,” said Carson’s Kelly Dulkoski, who scored a game-high 27 points to lead her team. “Our intensity level was high.”
The Cougars fought off a 10-2 run by Salisbury to start and led 17-13 at the end of the first quarter.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Misenheimer said. “We stayed focused and didn’t lose our composure. That showed a lot of maturity on our part.”
Kate Cole chipped in 14 points and Allison Blackwell had 13 to add solid nights scoring for the Carson (2-1).
Salisbury’s Brielle Blaire notched a team-high 24 points despite picking up two fouls in the first quarter. By the end of the quarter, Brielle Blaire, Ashley Blaire and Vashti Usry were all saddled with two fouls each.
Brielle Blaire’s putback late in the first half made it closed Salisbury to within 29-27. Dulkoski and Blackwell came up with baskets on Carson’s next two trips. Blackwell and Alex Allen hit two free throws each to push the lead to 10. Salisbury’s Daterria Connor hit a shot to make it 37-29 at halftime.
“Our problem was we were not getting back on defense,” Salisbury coach Doug Faison said. “We knew they had a good shooting team.”
Salisbury (2-1) started the second half with another 10-2 run that tied the game at 39 despite Brielle Blaire picking up her third foul. Blackwell hit a shot that put the Cougars up for good at 41-39. Blackwell then grabbed a steal and hit two freebies after being fouled for a four-point edge going into the fourth.
Dulkoski and Blackwell hit consecutive jumpers to gain some distance but Brielle Blaire answered right back with a runner that cut it to 49-45. That would be the be the last field goal for four minutes for the Hornets, who committed crucial turnovers late and saw Dulkoski come up big again with two swishes inside the arc.
Cole’s trey with 2:26 left put Carson up double digits again to ice the game.
“We knew defense and rebounding was going to be key tonight and that was our main focus,” Dulkoski said.
Brielle Blaire was honored before the game for reaching 1,000 points. It was Salisbury’s first intracounty loss since a defeat to North Rowan in 2006.
The Cougars got to the foul line and converted, making 16 of its 20 free throws. Salisbury was just 4 of 9.
CARSON (60) — Dulkoski 27, Cole 14, Blackwell 13, Allen 5, Barringer 1, Parks, Gray, Lowe.
SALISBURY(48) — B. Blaire 24, Caldwell 7, Usry 4, A. Blaire 4, Harris 4, Lattimore 3, Connor 2, Harmon, Gloster.
Carson 17 20 6 17 — 60
Salisbury 13 16 10 9 — 48