SALISBURY — Carson used a strong fourth quarter to gain separation in a 69-42 win Friday night at Salisbury.
The Cougars didn’t try to make sense of a game without much rhythm, rather they just enjoyed the win, something they just had seven of last year. Tre Williams notched a game-high 16 points and Colton Laws poured in 13 for the Cougars to gain their first victory.
“I think we score a little better then we did last year,” Carson coach Brian Perry said. “It was a great win. We just kept on grinding.”
Although Carson (1-2) heard whistles all night, it kept going full speed. 45 fouls were called during the action with 26 going to Salisbury. Big men Tyler Petty and Jon Mark Petty fouled out. Tyler Petty’s early two fouls in the opening two minutes hampered the Hornets. Each team was hit with a technical.
“We’re still trying to figure out who we are and what spots to go to,” Salisbury coach Jason Causby said. “We just never really got in sync tonight. Carson obviously did a great job of creating a lot of problems for us.”
The Cougars held a 10-9 lead after a quarter and forced Tyler Petty, Samron Hillie and Donnell Alexander to each commit two fouls. The Cougars never trailed after 9-7 five minutes into action.
“I felt like the first two games we didn’t have the intensity level until late,” Williams said. “Now we had the intensity level the whole game.”
Carson led 26-21 at halftime after a steal and layup from Marquez McCain. Salisbury cut its deficit to one with two quick buckets to start the second half.
The Cougars got four 3’s from four different players late in the third quarter to distance itself on a 14-0 run. Jacob Raper, Williams, Laws and Andrew Hower all nailed treys to push the lead to 44-29.
“I like that the points are distributed like they are,” Perry said. “Instead of having somebody get 20, you had 16, you had 13 and that’s good. We got contributions from everybody.”
The Hornets got baskets from Jon Mark Petty and Nick Brown to cut their deficit to 44-33 at the end of the third quarter. Tyler Petty fouled out at the 5-minute mark as Myquon Stout hit a freebie for Carson to go up 50-37. Keion Adams was the lone double-digit scorer for Salisbury (1-2) with 10 points.
Both squads endured mediocre nights from the free throw line as Carson shot 15 of 30 and Salisbury checked in a 10 for 21 clip. Carson was coming losses to Central Davidson and Hickory Ridge to start the year and beat Salisbury for the second-straight meeting. McCain finished with eight points for Carson and DJ Love (seven) and Raper (six) also had notable nights.
“We finished and that’s a good thing,” Perry said. “Last year we got looks on our face when we were up. We made some mistakes tonight but for the most part we made the right plays.”
Salisbury hung around down 52-40 with four minutes to play until one of its players got hit with a technical foul to curb momentum. The Cougars outscored their guests 17-2 for the remainder.
“I was very embarrassed by the way we lost our composure in the fourth quarter,” Causby said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been here and been embarrassed by our lack of composure. That’s something we have to work on.”
CARSON (69) — Williams 16, Laws 13, Howard 10, McCain 8, Love 7, Raper 6, Hower 3, Purcell 3, Stout 3, Parker.
SALISBURY(42) — Adams 10, JM Petty 9, Fazia 6, Hillie 5, Troutman 3, Burges 2, Bledsoe 2, Petty 2, Brown 2, Alexander 1, Yang, Usry.
Carson 10 16 18 25 — 69
Salisbury 9 12 12 9 — 42