CHINA GROVE — Avery Locklear scored 29 points for South Rowan, but Carson’s girls responded with their best offensive production since November.
The Cougars, who struggled mightily in the recent Christmas tournament, got 24 points from Kelly Dulkoski and 22 from Allison Blackwell and handled South 72-50 in front of a big home crowd on Tuesday to stay unbeaten in the NPC.
“As far as our offensive execution this was the best we’ve been in a long while,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “We executed well in the first half, but the shots still didn’t drop. In the second half, not only were we executing, the shots finally started falling.”
Misenheimer breathed a sigh of relief when Dulkoski’s jumpers starting falling again.
She started out 2-for-8, but she made her last four to finish 8-for-16, with three 3-pointers, plus 5-for-6 from the foul line.
Blackwell didn’t start because she’s been under the weather, but she shed her warmup jacket with three minutes elapsed and the game still scoreless and quickly passed to Dulkoski for the game’s first two points.
Blackwell scored a very efficient 22, going 6-for-8 from the floor, 8-for-8 from the foul line, and knocking down two 3s.
Dulkoski and Blackwell did what they are expected to do, and the Cougars also got three 3s from Kate Cole and a pair of and-ones from Alex Allen that helped blow the game open.
“It’s a rivalry with South, and I needed to play bigger and rebound better,” said Allen, who pulled down 10 boards.
South, which lost 51-25 to Carson in the Christmas tournament, played much better than it did at Catawba.
Carson’s lead was 11-8 after a quarter. It was 29-17 at halftime, but South was still in the game on the road despite 26-percent shooting.
The Cougars (12-3, 3-0) settled the outcome with a burst to start the second half. A Dulkoski 3-pointer, two Blackwell free throws following an offensive board, and the first of Allen’s and-ones made it 37-17.
“The rebounding just got away from us in the third quarter,” South coach Jarrod Smith said. “Allen and Blackwell just took over on the boards. They closed off our second-chance points, and they started getting second chances. And when you get that second chance, you probably score 80 percent of the time.”
Locklear had a tremendous third quarter to keep the game from getting out of hand. She scored all 15 of South’s points in the period, making two 3s and five free throws and getting inside for two buckets.
“Avery’s a great scorer, and we had no answer for her,” Misenheimer said. “We couldn’t stop her.”
Locklear’s first 3-pointer of the third quarter was immediately answered by Allen’s second and-one, and Cole responded to Locklear’s second 3 with one of her own to push the lead right back to 20.
South (3-11, 0-4) got three 3s from Cassidy Chipman. Sylvetta Bost scored eight, and Kamryn Stamey scored her first two on varsity.
SOUTH ROWAN (50) — Locklear 29, Chipman 9, Bost 8, Martin 2, Kam. Stamey 2, McClendon, Honeycutt, Davis.
CARSON (72) —Dulkoski 24, Blackwell 22, Cole 9, Allen 8, Barringer 5, Huffman 4, Parks, Gray, Clark, VanVoorhis.
S. Rowan 8 9 15 18 — 50
Carson 11 18 21 22 — 72