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Moir Christmas Classic: Carson boys prevail against S. Rowan

By Marny Hendrick

sports@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Carson boys coach Brian Perry woke up Friday morning with a serious stomach bug, but still toughed it out for the Cougars’ consolation battle against rival South Rowan in the Dale’s/Sam Moir Christmas Classic.

By his own admission, Perry had his head in his hands much of the game, not only because he felt awful but because his Cougars were struggling to score points, despite claiming a 40-30 win over the Raiders.

“I think it was a great opportunity for South to beat us today,” Perry said, “but luckily, we made a few more shots down the stretch to pull it out.”

There was a lot of futility to go around for both teams as Carson (4-8) trailed the Raiders (1-7), 13-12, in the second period.

The Cougars’ top scorers, EJ Clark and Cole Perry, provided some key buckets to expand a 24-20 halftime lead to 32-25 after three periods. Clark, who led the winners with 15 points, hit a trio of 3-pointers, while Perry scored seven straight points in the second period. Perry finished the game with 12 points.

South Rowan was hanging tough at the start of the fourth quarter when Jarron Hines drained a 3-pointer, cutting the deficit to 34-28. But it would be another six minutes on the clock before the Raiders would score again — thanks to a string of turnovers and missed free throws. By then, the damage was done. Perry hit four foul shots and Cole Hales added two more in the final minute to secure the 10-point margin.

“If you hold a team to 40 points you should win the ball game,” stated South head coach Andre McCain. “But when you don’t score more than 30, you are not going to win. We did compete a little better today. The opportunities were there for us today, but we just have to knock them down.”

The Raiders got points from eight players, led by Hines with nine and guard Andrew Jones with eight. They managed just 2-of-10 free throws and were out-rebounded by the Cougars, 29-24.

Clark and Perry were the only Cougars in double figures while Hales contributed seven points. Carson did manage five 3-pointers to aid their winning effort.

“These early games in the tournament seem to lack some energy,” Perry said. “It is not the same atmosphere as the night games, with the crowds being big and loud. We tell our players they have to bring the energy for these early games.”

The Cougars will get out of the morning rut Saturday when they play the fifth-place game at 1:30 against East Rowan (6-5). South Rowan will battle winless West Rowan (0-11) in the seventh-place boys game at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

SOUTH ROWAN (30) — Hines 9, Jones 8, Finger 4, Thompson 2, Fullard 2, Gaskin 2, Graham 2, Dextraze 1, Peacock, Ritchie.

CARSON (40) — Clark 15, Perry 12, Hales 7, Smith 4, Mauldin 2, Spry, Jackson.

South Rowan          9    11    5    5 — 30

Carson                   12    12    8    8 — 40

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