CHINA GROVE — After scoring 36 points in a 69-33 rout, Carson senior Kelly Dulkoski posed for a picture in the hallway with former Carson standout Mackenzie White.
It was one of those passing-the-torch moments. White played just one year at Carson, but she helped coach Brooke Misenheimer and the Cougars get the program started in 2006. In the sixth game in Carson history, White scored 33 in a 63-45 loss to East Rowan.
Dulkoski finally matched White’s school record in Carson’s 157th game and broke it Tuesday night in the Cougars’ 159th. Again, the opponent was East’s Mustangs.
“Our focus for this game was all about defense and rebounding,” said Dulkoski, who has scored 27 or more points five times this season. “But it’s always a big game when we play East, and I just got hot.”
It was a remarkable 36 points in that it came on 21 field-goal attempts. Dulkoski shot 15-for-21 from the floor, with four 3s, and made her only two free throws. She didn’t miss in the second half, had six assists, and sat down for good with four minutes still on the clock.
While Dulkoski was a lot of the story, her performance was only part of Tuesday’s overwhelming effort by the Cougars. Allison Blackwell got Carson rolling by making shots off kickouts by a driving Dulkoski, and Katherine Barringer led the defense, as the Cougars (8-1) fronted East’s tall post players.
“We knew East would come in with a lot of confidence after beating Salisbury, but our intensity was much better tonight than it has been all year,” Misenheimer said. “Allison got us off to a great start.”
East (6-3) had eight turnovers in the first quarter but trailed just 15-11 thanks to three stickbacks by Kelly Fisher.
East, which had a six-game winning streak snapped, fell behind 27-17 when Dulkoski hit a 3-pointer. Moments later, a boxout by Alex Allen created Fisher’s third foul and got her off the floor.
Fisher (15 points, 12 rebounds) had kept East in it. When Kate Cole hit a jumper before the halftime horn, Carson’s lead was up to 35-19, and it was all but over.
“We weren’t confident in our ballhandling, and our posts let Carson dictate where they were going to go,” East coach Danielle Porter said. “I was disappointed with our lack of competitiveness.”
Carson shot 50 percent in the first half and had a 13-2 edge in the turnover battle.
“You can’t play Carson with 2s — you have to make some 3s,” said East guard Lauren Thomas, who scored nine points. “They were hitting everything, and our shots just weren’t falling.”
It got worse in the third quarter, as Carson outscored the Mustangs 25-3 in the NPC opener for both teams.
EAST ROWAN (33) — Fisher 15, Thomas 9, Ajayi 3, Wike 2, Poole 2, Lowe 2, Sides, Gullett, Fry.
CARSON (69) — Dulkoski 36, Blackwell 13, Barringer 8, Cole 6, Allen 2, Gray 2, Huffman 2, Parks, Clark, Vanvoorhis.
E. Rowan 11 8 3 11 — 33
Carson 15 20 25 9 — 69