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Moir Christmas Classic: Top-seeded Carson girls roll, 52-11

Carson girls hold Wonders to 11 points

Wayne Hinshaw/for the Salisbury Post …
Carson’s McKenzie Gadson (11) goes to the basket but is fouled by A.L. Brown’s Jaliyah Smoutherson (24), during Thursday’s Dale’s/Sam Moir Christmas Classic at Goodman Gym. Gadson scored 12 points in the Cougars’ 52-11 victory.

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



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