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Carson girls win again

CHINA GROVE — Carson’s girls put the top two scorers in school history on the floor, but while it’s true that seniors Kelly Dulkoski and Allison Blackwell combined to outscore Robinson by themselves on Monday night, this game was all about defense.

Carson held the visiting Bulldogs to 14 points in the second half and 0-for-14 shooting from the floor in the fourth quarter and won 47-34.

“As bad as we played, I was proud of our defense,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “We couldn’t get in any sort of flow at all on offense, but we played defense well enough. Defense definitely keyed us.”

Blackwell carried the Cougars (3-1) in the first half and finished with 19 points. Dulkoski had 17. Dulkoski is the school’s all-time scoring leader with 933 points. Blackwell isn’t far behind her, as they both march together toward 1,000.

But no Cougar could buy a bucket early. Carson missed seven of its first eight shots and committed six quick turnovers.

Dulkoski picked up two early fouls, so Carson was flirting with disaster, and Misenheimer thought Dulkoski had gotten her third personal with four minutes left in the half when a whistle blew and Dulkoski was the only Cougar in the vicinity.

As it turned out, it wasn’t a foul, but Misenheimer didn’t realize it and sat Dulkoski down the final four minutes of the half. As it turned out, those minutes were the key to the game. With Dulkoski sitting, the scoreboard stayed locked at Robinson 20, Carson 19.

“We couldn’t score during that time,” Misenheimer said. “But they couldn’t score either. It really worked out for us because Kelly still had two fouls at halftime.”

Carson some good backcourt defense from Paris Parks and Megan Gray, and post player Katherine Barringer took two charges on back-to-back Robinson possessions.

“Defense is how I benefit the team, and I just tried to play smartand do what I was supposed to do,” Barringer said. “On both of those charges, I was the help person, and I was able to get over.”

It was only a matter of time before Dulkoski started making shots, and she buried three 3s in the third quarter as Carson eased into a safe lead.

Carson shot 8-for-15 in the third quarter. Kate Cole also hit a 3-pointer, and the Cougars cut down their turnovers and got defensive stops.

“We just weren’t patient enough on offense, and we couldn’t score,” Robinson coach Lin Smithson said. “I thought we were in good shape at halftime, but then we stopped scoring and stopped communicating on defense. Dulkoski is a great shooter, and we stopped doing the things we wanted to do against her.”

Robinson’s ice-cold fourth quarter allowed the Cougars to win with relative ease.

“It was an ugly win, but it was a good winfor us,” Dulkoski said.

Blackwell pulled down 11 rebounds against a team with a serious height advantage. Barringer and Alex Allen had seven boards each.

Kelsi Mahoney, a tall sophomore with shooting range, led the Bulldogs with 15 points. Maya Scott, who was quick in transition, scored 10.

ROBINSON (34) — Mahoney 15, Scott 10, Cook 5, Dalton 2, Fulford 2, Vaughters, Franklin.

CARSON (47) — Blackwell 19, Dulkoski 17, Barringer 6, Cole 3, Allen 2, Gray, Parks

Robinson 13 7 12 2 — 34

Carson 10 9 20 9 — 48

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