Area Sports Briefs: Carson girls fall despite 25 points by Gabriel
CONCORD — Carson’s girls basketball team got 25 points from junior guard Olivia Gabriel but lost to Central Cabarrus, 59-52, on Thursday.
The setback at Cox Mill High in the South Piedmont Conference Tournament semifinals was the third for Carson against Central’s Vikings this season.
“We couldn’t quite find a way to get it done,” Carson coach Brooke Misenheimer said. “We played hard from start to finish in a physical game. We battled, but we didn’t rebound very well and we missed a lot of layups.”
Carson had lost 57-55 to the Vikings very early in the season and by 64-56 a few weeks ago.
Third-seeded Carson (20-6) got off to a solid start, fought on even terms in the first quarter and led at times in the second quarter.
Central led 27-25 at halftime.
Carson again moved in front briefly in the third quarter before Central took charge for good. The Vikings led by as many as nine points down the stretch.
Gabriel scored 15 of her points in the second half.
“She made one 3-pointer but mostly she did a good job of attacking the basket,” Misenheimer said. “She made a lot of free throws in the fourth quarter.”
Freshman guard Maci Cooper stayed hot for the Cougars and scored 12 points.
“She’s been coming on strong,” Misenheimer said. “We really believe in her shot, and we want her to believe in it. She’s brought us some scoring the last few weeks.”
McKenzie Gadson scored 11 for the Cougars.
Central got 18 points from guard Mahaley Holit, who had eight in the first quarter. Kasey Rowden scored 12, and Elanna Peay added eight for the Vikings (23-3).
Misenheimer said the Cougars will work on rebounding as they prepare for the 3A state playoffs.
Carson is certain to get a first-round home game.
“We’ve just got to re-focus now and get ready for some new opponents in the playoffs,” Misenheimer said.
Central will get another shot at top-seeded and undefeated Hickory Ridge (25-0) in tonight’s championship game at Cox Mill at 6 p.m.
Hickory Ridge demolished Central, 68-32, in the first meeting, but that was a game the Vikings played without Holit.
In the second meeting at Central, the Bulls won 64-50.
The school are big rivals, only about 6.5 miles apart on Highway 49.
NOTES: Gabriel has 415 points for the season and 1,164 for her career. She surpassed Alex Allen for third place in school history.
C. Cabarrus 59, Carson 52
Gabriel 25, Cooper 12, Gadson 11, Street 2, Shumaker 2, Ketchie, Turney, Wiggins, Jackson.
Holit 18, Rowden 12, Peay 8, Tate 7, Miller 6, N. Brown 6, Benton 2.
Carson 17 8 11 16 — 52
C. Cabarrus 18 14 27 14 — 59
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