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Prep girls basketball: East Rowan wins tough one over Carson

GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan coach Danielle Porter told her team in her pre-game speech it was going to be a 32-minute fight.

Her prediction was accurate.

“Carson is always tough,” Porter said. “No one who plays Carson is going to have an easy game.”

Porter’s Mustangs, the defending South Piedmont Conference champs, stayed in the thick of the race by rallying from a nine-point deficit and beating Carson 55-49. Hickory Ridge is 9-1, while East Rowan and South Rowan are 8-2.

The game easily could’ve gone to overtime, but with the Mustangs (14-2 overall) leading 51-49, Carson (7-10, 4-5) missed two point-blank chances with 25 seconds left.

Carson did a nice job defending East’s Rowan’s high-low game, but the Mustangs switched to a double-post offense with Kaleigh Troutman (nine points) providing a tenacious running mate for 6-foot-3 Kelli Fisher. East Rowan also picked it up defensively with a switch to man-to-man and held Carson to 18 second-half points.

Fisher scored 13 of her 23 points in the third quarter to lead a rally and had 14 rebounds.

Shenell Pharr hit three 3-pointers for East Rowan, Jocelyn Lowe had six assists, and Shenique Pharr scored all seven of her points in the second half.

Carson trailed 45-43 with 4:49 left when freshman guard Olivia Gabriel (16 points) was injured. That hurt the Cougars down the stretch. Alex Allen scored 14 for Carson, extending her  streak to 43 straight games in double figures. Sydney Huffman scored 12.

Allen’s driving bucket with 57 seconds left cut Carson’s deficit to two points, but Fisher hit two free throws with 19 seconds left for a four-point East Rowan lead.

CARSON (49)  — Gabriel 16, Allen 14, Huffman 12, Turney 4, Furr 3, Shumaker, Roberson, Wiggins.

EAST ROWAN  (55) — Fisher 23, Shenell Pharr 13, Troutman 9, Shenique Pharr 7, J. Lowe 2, Ajayi 1.

Carson                 15      16   10   8 —  49

East Rowan         13       9    18  15 —  55



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