CONCORD — After a dramatic come-from-behind victory over West Rowan Wednesday night, Cox Mill had a little magic left in the tank Friday.
Once again, the Chargers found themselves in a double-digit hole in the fourth quarter at home against Carson. But once again, they staged a furious comeback.
Senior Chandler Probert capped the emphatic rally with a game-winning jumper from the free-throw line with four seconds left to give Cox Mill the thrilling 65-64 victory as the student section rushed the court to celebrate.
“They made the plays. You have to give them credit,” Carson coach Brian Perry said. “We just can’t let it linger. It was disappointing but I know that we have a really good team and we’re going to have a really good second run through the league. We just have to start focusing on the next eight games that we’re going to play.”
“The same thing I said the other night – believe,” Cox Mill’s Jody Barbee added. “We got into the same situation and Carson is good. We were having a time stopping dribble penetration and they would just kick it inside to Colton.
“It’s just that ‘believe or leave’ mantra that we have – I can’t figure it out.”
Facing a 15-point deficit (53-38) when Carson’s Marquez McCain hit a contested layup in the paint just 12 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Chargers didn’t flinch. Gianni Smith drilled a 3-pointer before TJ Jones converted an old-fashion three-point play to jump-start the charge.
After a corner trey by Andrew Hower pushed the Cougar lead back to 58-44, Matt Morgan sank back-to-back 3-pointers to bring Cox Mill within seven at 60-53. Morgan and Maleek Johnson followed a Carson free throw with two more buckets as the Chargers drew to within four (61-57).
Two more Cox Mill baskets cut the deficit down to one at 62-61 as Morgan was fouled rounding a screen. The junior calmly sank both free throws to give the Chargers their first lead of the night at 63-62 with 37 seconds left.
But Carson answered as Jacob Raper hit a high floater in the lane with 15 ticks remaining to put the Cougars back ahead, 64-63.
Smith snagged the inbounds pass and looked to set up Morgan but penetrated instead. He drove and found Probert at the stripe, who knocked down the jumper for the win.
“I was at the right position at the right time,” Probert said. “I was in the middle of the lane and he gave me the ball and I had to get it up with time left.”
The dramatic ending spoiled Carson big man Colton Laws’ career night. The senior hit a pair of free throws midway through the third quarter to go over 1,000 points in his career.
“It’s awesome for him. It’s something that he’ll never forget,” Perry said. “Speaking of Colton Laws, we need to find a way to get him the ball more in the fourth quarter.”
Carson will honor Laws in a pregame ceremony Friday before taking on Central Cabarrus.
CARSON (64) — Williams 19, Laws 16, Hower 8, Raper 8, Stout 7, McCain 4, Rucker 2.
COX MILL (65) — Morgan 25, Probert 18, Smith 8, M. Johnson 7, Jones 3, Earl 2, D. Johnson 2, Baptiste, Rhodes.
Carson 18 20 13 13 — 64
Cox Mill 12 9 17 27 — 65
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