LANDIS— Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer resisted the urge to leap off a high ledge at halftime, and her Cougars bounced back after the break to win 57-34 at South Rowan.
NPC co-leader Carson managed just 15 of those points in an often ugly first half that ended with upset-minded South ahead by a point.
“We started fine, but then we went cold with our shooting, and then we stopped following our missed shots, and then we stopped talking on defense,” Misenheimer said. “It was our must frustrating half of basketball all season.”
South coach Jarrod Smith was elated with his team’s effort level in the first half, but the Raiders weren’t putting the ball in the hole very often.
There were back-to-back possessions in the second quarter that featured seven offensive rebounds by the Raiders — and nine missed shots.
“I thought Beth Ann Martin played great defense in the first half against (Kelly) Dulkoski, and we did a good job of helping her out on the screens,” Smith said. “We also rebounded great in the first half. We played hard enough, that if we could have made some shots here and there, we’re up 10 or more.”
The speech Misenheimer gave at halftime must have ranked second all-time to Abraham Lincoln’s at Gettysburg because the Cougars (17-4, 8-1) looked like the Cougars in the third quarter.
Dulkoski found some daylight and buried three long ones in a three-minute span, and then Allison Blackwell had a flurry of her own, scoring the last seven points of the period.
“Carson just outworked us in that third quarter, and there’s no good way to say that,” Smith said.
Carson shot 9-for-12 in the third quarter, hit the boards hard, and overwhelmed the Raiders 21-5 on the scoreboard.
At that point it was 36-21 Cougars, and it was over.
“The first half I don’t think we ran anything at all — we just stood around,” Dulkoski said. “But in the second half, we picked up the intensity a lot. We hit shots, we played defense, and we got more rebounds.”
Dulkoski scored 13 of her 20 points in the second half. Blackwell scored 14 of her 16 after the break.
Alex Allen scored 10 points.
Katherine Barringer scored six points and took charges in the second quarter against South scorers Avery Locklear and Cassidy Chipman when Carson was really struggling.
Kate Cole hit a 3-pointer that helped the Cougars push their lead into the 20s early in the fourth quarter.
“Carson is used to winning, and they find a way to do it,” Smith said.
Locklear scored 14 for the Raiders (5-16, 2-8), while Chipman had nine and Sylvetta Bost eight.
Locklear got eight early and six late, but Dulkoski held the high-scoring sophomore without a point for a long stretch of nearly 20 minutes.
“I played her to drive and to go to her right,” Dulkoski said.
Dulkoski reached 20 points for the 13th time this season, but Carson’s MVP was Misenheimer for the halftime speech.
“South gave us everything they had in first half, and we didn’t respond well at all,” she said. “Fortunately, we’ve got a veteran team and they did respond in the second half.”
CARSON (57) — Dulkoski 20, Blackwell 16, Allen 10, Barringer 6, Cole 5, Huffman, Gray, Parks.
SOUTH (34) — Locklear 14, Chipman 9, Bost 8, Martin 3, Hubbard, Kac. Stamey, McClendon.
Carson 11 4 21 21 — 57
S. Rowan 14 2 5 13 — 34