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Carson’s girls keep clawing

GRANITE QUARRY — Carson’s girls don’t score enough to have any easy games.
Still, the fifth-seeded Cougars are 12-11 after beating No. 4 Central Cabarrus 48-46 on Tuesday in the first round of the SPC tournament.
Ten of the Cougars’ wins have been by single digits. Coach Brooke Misenheimer probably went to sleep during a 12-point win that was their biggest blowout of the year.
Carson has held 12 foes under 50 and has won five of its last six, but holding Central (12-13) under 50 was a tough assignment because Central freshman Mahaley Holit is a phenom. Holit scored 27.
“She makes runs by herself,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “She’s tough. She’s just wow. You just try to stay in front of her.”
Jordy Clark guarded Holit, but there were times when Holit made 25-foot 3s.
“Jordy always plays great defense,” Carson’s Alex Allen said. “Jordy did good. She chased her all over.”
Tuesday’s terrific game — a 32-minute fight — was decided by one disastrous Central possession. Carson led 42-41 with 40 seconds left and dug in, knowing Holit would shoot or drive. Clark made a steal when a Viking mishandled the ball. Clark drove and was fouled as she put up a layup. An intentional foul was whistled, and Central coach Brandon Blaylock got a frustration technical on top of that.
Clark made one free throw. Then Alex Allen made two technical free throws. Carson retained possession, so Central had to foul, and Crishona Roberson made two free throws for a 47-41 lead.
“We got some breathing room,” Misenheimer said.
Even a Holit 3 with 12 seconds left — her fourth of the half — couldn’t get Central all the way back. Leading by one, Carson got the ball inbounds to Cole with three seconds left. She made one free throw, and Central couldn’t get a shot off before time expired.
Carson benefited from a four-point trip when it was down one. Megan Gray scored off a feed from Allen as she was fouled. Gray missed the free throw, but Allen rebounded and scored .
“We’re hosting this tournament,” said Cole who hit two big 3s in the third quarter. “We really wanted to play again at home.”
Carson takes on No. 1 East Rowan tonight at 7:30. p.m.
C. CABARRUS (46) — Holit 27, Peay 6, Wallace 5, McFarlane 2, Windham 2, Bryant 2, Blackwelder 2, Robinson.
CARSON (48) — Allen 14, Cole 12, Huffman 8, Gray 4, Roberson 4, Clark 4, Ketchie 2, Jackson, McClary.
C. Cabarrus 7 14 9 16 — 46
Carson 8 12 14 14 — 48

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