Prep Basketball: Hairston, White lead Carson to SPC win

Published 12:16 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016

By Mike London

CHINA GROVE — When you make 13 3-pointers, it’s hard to lose, and hot-shooting Carson took care of East Rowan’s boys, 79-52, on Tuesday in South Piedmont Conference action.
Sophomore Owen White has produced big-time games for the Cougars in baseball and football, and now he’s added basketball to the list. He made six 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 20 points.
“I just had a good feeling,” White said. “Maybe it was something in my cereal.”
White didn’t reveal whether or not he consumed Wheaties, the breakfast of champions, but he played like it. So did fellow sophomore Jamarius Hairston, who battered the Mustangs inside and outside for 22 points.
“My shots were falling,” Hairston said. “So I tried to stay aggressive.”
The interesting thing about the game was that East matched buckets with the Cougars (9-8, 5-6) for quite a while. East (3-14, 1-10) played strong the last four minutes of the first quarter and the first five minutes of the second quarter to wipe out a deficit and move into a 28-all tie. That push was mostly driven by Austin Love, who was drilling soft jumpers from everywhere.
“Love was knocking down 3s and he was getting to the foul line,” Carson coach Brian Perry said.
Carson answered with an 11-0 run that was built around the talents of Hairston. The Cougars used that surge to take a 39-32 lead to the break.
“What we talked about halftime was picking it up and taking some charges against Love because he’s a really good ballplayer,” White said. “We wanted to step on them in the third quarter and get it rolling.”
When Naquis Caldwell scored for East early in the third quarter, the Mustangs trailed 39-34, but then Hairston enjoyed a personal 6-0 run that included a slam dunk off a sweet bounce pass by Ryan Bearden. By the end of the third quarter, Carson led 57-38, and it was all over.
“For a long time we were scoring, but we weren’t getting the stops we needed defensively,” Perry said. “In the second half, we kept shooting the ball well and we added the defensive stops. That’s when we pulled away. We can shoot and we can score, so it always comes down to defense for us.”
In addition to White’s onslaught, Carson got 3-pointers from Hairston (2), Grayson Whicker (2), Jailen Williams, Cameron Prugh and Cole Perry.
“Carson did a good job of sharing the ball and Owen shot well, but when guys are making 3-pointers like that, some of it has to be on us for not playing good enough defense,” East coach Kurt Misenheimer said. “We didn’t communicate well defensively and we didn’t play together very well.”
Love was held to two points in the second half and finished with 19 to lead East.
While Carson has had its hands full with Cabarrus County teams this season, the Cougars are 6-0 against Rowan teams and 2-0 against the Mustangs.
In its last 16 outings, East’s only two victories have come against winless South Rowan.
“Carson is a big rival and we should’ve been more excited to be playing them,” Misenheimer said. “We made mistakes, but we all mistakes. What was disappointing was that we sulked and put our heads down instead of fighting through those mistakes.”

EAST ROWAN (52) — Love 19, Bravon Goodlett 8, Caldwell 8, Shuping 7, Brevin Goodlett 5, Morton 3, Taylor 2, Meadows, File, Elliott, Sprinkle.
CARSON (79) — Hairston 22, White 20, Bearden 10, Williams 7, Whicker 6, Westbrook 6, Prugh 5, Perry 3, Banks.

East Rowan 13 19 6 14 — 52
Carson 22 17 18 22 — 79