STATESVILLE — While the other two first-place contenders took an unexpected night off, the Carson Cougars made sure they kept their share of the top spot in the North Piedmont Friday night.
Sprinting out of the gate to a big lead, Carson rolled past host West Iredell, 73-48, improving to 4-0 in the NPC and 13-3 overall.
“We absolutely came out with a great first quarter, “coach Brooke Misenheimer said, “Probably our best start all year. For two games in a row we have been very efficient on offense.”
With league co-leaders West Rowan and North Iredell postponed in their scheduled showdown Friday night due to facility problems at West, Carson enjoys a slight percentage lead in the standings, but only until Friday when they host the unbeaten Falcon girls.
With strong inside games from Alex Allen and Katherine Barringer, plus the always consistent scoring of Kelly Dulkoski, Carson was in control from the outset.
A 5-4 lead exploded to a 22-6 advantage after one quarter as Carson went on an 11-0 run. Dulkoski had nine and Barringer added eight in the surge while Allen contributed two blocks, three rebounds and a basket of her own.
That was pretty much the pattern for the rest of the night as Dulkoski notched 23 while Allen had one of her best outings of the season with 13 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Barringer added 10.
“I am not usually a shot blocker but it worked out that way tonight,” Allen said. “We were very aggressive on defense tonight but we probably need to be more disciplined.”
The discipline part Allen referred to resulted in a big disparity in fouls for the game as Carson was whistled 12 times in the first half and 20 times for the game. West Iredell only drew three fouls in the first half and for the game made 16 of 27 foul shots. By comparison Carson hit just four of eight.
The Cougars were very aggressive on defense with their press throughout the game plus as Misenheimer noted, “we are going to have to learn to adjust to the officiating.”
For the most part, however, the Carson coaches and team had very little to complain about on this night as they rolled out to a 39-16 halftime margin. It was even more impressive in the third period as Dulkoski rained in two three’s; Sydney Huffman nailed two long jumpers and Allen contributed five points inside. The rout was on at 61-24 after three periods.
Carson also seemed to have achieved another of their goals by holding West Iredell star guard Elizabeth Webb under double figures through three periods. But then the fourth quarter happened. Playing against both the Carson starters and a host of reserves, Webb hit a trio of threes and scored 11 in the last frame to finish with 20. As a result, the Warriors outscored Carson 24-12 in the fourth period to make the final outcome much more respectable.
“We were definitely focusing on Webb for the game” Misenheimer said, “But when she gets away from you she can really score quickly. But we really need to focus for 32 minutes in every game”
CARSON (73) — Dulkoski 23, Allen 13, Barringer 10, Blackwell 8, Cole, 6, Huffman 5, Parks 4, Gray 4, Clark, Van Voorhis.
WEST IREDELL (48) —Webb 20, Boggs 7, Summers 6, Heath 5, Feimster 4, Morrison 3.
Carson 22 17 22 12 — 73
W. Iredell 6 10 8 24 — 48