• 36°

Girls basketball: Bulls hold off max effort by Street, Ketchie

By Mike London

CHINA GROVE — Carson’s Kailie Ketchie hadn’t scored in double figures all season, while Alijuandra Street sometimes doesn’t score at all.

But Senior Night are a box-of-chocolates sort of experience. You never know what you might get from seniors, who are overflowing with emotion, and what Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer got on Tuesday were the best games Ketchie and Street  ever played in a Carson uniform.

Ketchie sang the national anthem and then scored 13 points. Street scored a career-high 11. It still wasn’t enough. Unfortunately, the opposition was undefeated Hickory Ridge, and the Ragin’ Bulls (22-0, 17-0) were too good. They beat the Cougars, 67-55, to stay perfect in the South Piedmont Conference.

Gabby Smith (19 points) and Nia Daniel (18) pounded the Cougars in the paint and on the glass.

“We had a good team ballgame,” HR coach Tolonda Simmons said. “We got a lot of rebounds, but we also got the ball inside and had some legitimate post moves to score. In the second half, we played pretty well. We pushed the ball at Carson and we made better decisions.”

Street provided crazy effort and intensity for the Cougars early. She had seven points in the first quarter, including a three-point play.

“That girl came ready to go,” Simmons said. “She won my respect. You can’t play any harder than she played.”

Street propelled the Cougars to a 9-3 lead, but the Bulls took a 17-16 lead after a quarter.

Ketchie wiggled and squirmed for three field goals for Carson (18-5, 13-4 SPC) in the second quarter, but Hickory Ridge got two 3-pointers from Jiera Shears and led 39-32 at the break.

“Ketchie and Street kept us in the game, gave us a chance,” Misenheimer said.

Carson hoped to get its stars, Olivia Gabriel and McKenzie Gadson, who usually combine for 35 points, going in the second half, but both had a tough time finishing — or drawing fouls — against the tall Bulls. Gadson scored 10, while Gabriel had nine.

Smith had a huge third quarter as the Bull pushed their lead to double digits against the Cougars, and the visitors led by as many as 16 points in the final period.

“I can’t fault anyone’s effort, ” Misenheimer said. “But it was just a struggle for us to score in the second half.”

Third-place  Carson (18-5, 13-4 SPC) was held to nine field goals in the second half .

Carson got 3-balls in the game from Ketchie, Gadson, Gabriel, Destiny Jackson and Maci Cooper.

Street, Ketchie, Jackson and Micah Furr are Carson’s seniors.

“All four are great people, and they’ve been a big part of our program,” Misenheimer said. “Ketchie had a tremendous game for us, and Street is always the heart of our team even when she doesn’t score a point. She had a game she’ll always remember.”

Smith 19, Daniel 18, Ji. Shears 11, R. Neal 9, D. Neal 6, Jones 2, Ja. Shears 2.

Ketchie 13, Street 11, Gadson 10, Gabriel 9, Cooper 5, Jackson 3, Wiggins 2, Shumaker 2, Turney, Furr.

Hick. Ridge         17  22  13  15   —  67
Carson                16   16  9     14   —  55



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