CHINA GROVE — For a team in last place in the North Piedmont Conference, the West Iredell Warriors showed they could compete with the big boys Friday night at Carson.
They just didn’t have an answer for the Cougars’ biggest guy, 6-foot-6 Colton Laws.
Laws led a second half surge that included a 30-point fourth period for Carson as they pulled away from the Warriors 83-63. The final score was not indicative of the nature of the game but it did show how determined the Cougars (8-2, 14-8) were to keep their grip on second place in the NPC.
Scoring 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, Laws used both his size and muscle to turn the tide of the game midway in the third period. Warrior big man T.J. Teasley had just powered in a layup to close with 41-38 at the 3:36 mark. Two foul shots by Rameiq Howard made it 43-38 then Laws provided the game changing sequence. The 6-3 Teasley came inside again against Laws but twice his shots were swatted away, He recovered the ball and went back up but was whistled for a charge.
Warrior coach Matt Miller flew off the sideline to protest and got a technical foul for his effort.
“I think that’s what turned things our way,” Laws said of the critical sequence. “That kind of go us going and got us some enthusiasm.”
Howard, a 6-2 senior took over at that point by hitting both technical free throws then swishing a 15 foot baseline jumper on the ensuing possession. Just like that, the Cougars were up by 10 and headed in the right direction.
West Iredell (0-10, 2-16) did continue to battle, trailing by six after three periods thanks to the long range shooting of Troy Sells, who had the bulk of he team’s nine 3-pointers.
He had 18 while Teasley led with 19 for the Warriors.
But the Cougars poured it on in the final period as Laws made two old fashioned three point plays, Myquon Stout and DJ Love scored inside. Tre Williams added a big tip-in, a short jumper and some key free throws. to expand the lead to 15.
“We just finally decided to pick it up,” Williams said after adding 18 points to the victory. “Once we figure out we could get some stops, we really picked it up.”
Warrior Coach Matt Miller was proud of his team’s effort but was more blunt in his assessment. “They are just better than we are, Miller said. “They are just that big and strong inside.”
The Cougars also celebrated senior night with their last home regular season game. It was a salute to Howard, Love and especially 6-0 guard Andrew Purcell who got the start on this night. Primarily a long range shooter with limited playing time, Purcell racked up eight points, tying his career high. A crowd favorite, Purcell scored three straight lay-ups in the final minute.
“I’m having a lot of fun,”he said. “Just being on this team is a lot of fun.”
Coach Brian Perry had particular praise for his seniors in the win although he did have to acknowldge the strong inside play of Laws on offense and defense.
“I am just happy for our seniors,” Perry said. “They will remember this night for many years to come. Give a lot of credit to West Iredell too. They gave us all we could handle.”
WEST IREDELL (63) — Teasley 19, Sells 18, Johnson 10, David 7, Weaver 6, Harrison 3, Keaton 3, Weaver.
CARSON (83) —Laws 24, Williams 18, McCain 10, Purcell 8, Howard 8, Love 8, Stout 4, Raper 2, Hower 1,
W. Iredell 12 12 23 16 — 63
Carson 18 17 18 30 — 83
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