Moir Christmas Classic: Top-seeded Carson girls roll, 52-11
Carson girls hold Wonders to 11 points
By Mike London
SALISBURY —A.L. Brown’s girls slowed the pace to a crawl on Thursday in a first-round game in the Dale’s Sporting Goods Sam Moir Christmas Classic.
Carson yawned and stretched and won, 52-11.
It was 28-6 at halftime and 43-6 after three quarters. Even Carson fans felt like cheering when the Wonders made a couple of fourth-quarter buckets.
No one blamed the Wonders (0-8) for the afternoon snoozer. Eighth-seeded A.L. Brown had already played top-seeded Carson (12-0) twice in earlier gams this season, and the scores were 71-28 and 71-25.
There was no point in enduring a three-peat of that.
“Slowing it down was the only shot we had,” A.L. Brown coach Doug Wilson explained. “What does Carson average — 70, 71? To me, this game felt better. This was a moral victory.”
Carson coach Brooke Stouder played for East Rowan during Wilson’s first tour of duty as A.L. Brown’s coach. The 68-year-old Wilson, a recent recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, coached the program for nine seasons from 1997-2006. He was summoned back as interim coach for this season shortly before it got started.
“I understand where Coach Wilson and A.L. Brown were coming from today,” Stouder said. “It was a slow game and we didn’t shoot well, but I thought it was good that we got to experience a situation where someone just held the ball on us. We haven’t been in that situation before, but we did a nice job of just grinding it out.”
Ellie Wilhelm got Carson started with two 3-pointers and eight early points. The Cougars led 12-3 after a quarter.
Carleigh Perry had a spree inside in the second quarter to make it 22-3. After Jala Campbell made a 3-pointer for the Wonders, McKenzie had a transition flurry for that 28-6 halftime.
“We had a lot of really good looks that we just didn’t make,” Wilson said. “We make a few shots and it’s still close at halftime. But Carson is good. They’re very good.”
Taylor Conrad made three buckets as Carson owned the third quarter, 15-0.
“The biggest thing for us today was continuing to play at 100 percent, no matter what the score was,” Wilhelm said. “They tried very hard to slow us down, but I thought we stayed calm and handled everything well.”
Victoria Post scored seven for Carson in the fourth quarter.
The 11 points allowed by the Cougars was close to a school record. Carson beat Northwest Cabarrus, 50-10, in December, 2016.
“We didn’t allow a single point in the third quarter,” Stouder said. “Our defense was solid.”
Campbell accounted for all of A.L. Brown’s points in the first half with two 3-pointers.
Ariana Davis made a free throw in the fourth quarter to end a Wonders’ scoring drought of 15 minutes. Kaylee Yow then followed a missed free throw by Davis with a bucket.
“We’ve played eight games so far and five have been against Carson or West Rowan,” Wilson said. “That’s a tough situation.”
Carson plays No. 5 seed South Rowan in tonight’s 6 p.m. semifinal.
A.L. Brown plays No. 6 Davie County in a noon consolation.
A.L. BROWN (11) — Campbell 8, Yow 2, Davis 1, Brabham, Grier, Flynn, Corpening, Brim, Simmons, Smoutherson, Moody.
CARSON (52) — Gadson 12, Wilhelm 8, Post 7, Ca. Perry 7, Conrad 6, Co. Perry 5, Cooper 3, Hales 2, L. Isley 2, Gamewell.
A.L. Brown 3 3 0 5 — 11
Carson 12 16 15 9 — 52