High school basketball: Carson boys win again

Published 11:31 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019

By Mike London

GRANITE QUARRY —   Carson’s boys basketball team did it again on Tuesday.

Another slow start. Another deficit. Another comeback.

Carson beat rival East Rowan in Granite Quarry, 56-49, on a night when the Mustangs held Carson’s scoring leader EJ Clark to five points.

Carson trailed after a dismal first quarter, 13-4.

“We stood around a lot, East made some shots, and their crowd was really loud and got into it,” Carson coach Brian Perry said. “But we’ve had some starts like that. The key is just to keep defending, to keep grinding, and eventually some of those shots will fall.”

The shots started falling for the Cougars (11-9, 6-1) in the second quarter. AJ Mauldin made a couple of 3-pointers, Mark Spry made a 3-pointer.  Javon Smith hit a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play.

“We were able to push the ball more,” Perry said. “We got our bodies moving a little bit, we finished some drives, and we made some shots.”

East’s lead was down to 28-26 at the break.

Carson, which has recovered nicely from a 3-8 start to the season, finally inched in front in the third quarter.

Cole Perry’s three-point play broke a 45-all tie with four minutes left to play, and the Cougars didn’t trail again.

Perry and Smith made clutch free throws at the end, as the Cougars held on.

Smith scored 18. His two biggest scoring games this season have come against the Mustangs (9-11, 2-5). He had 20 in a win at Carson.

Perry scored 16, while Mauldin had 14.

Coach Perry also pointed at Spry as a big factor. He did the defensive work against Gavin Sprinkle, who’s had some huge scoring nights.

Elton Hooper led East with 20 points.  He’s scored 20 or more eight times this season.

Gabe Hinceman scored nine.

“This game was a whole lot like the ones  at West Rowan and at North Iredell,” Coach Perry said. “In all three of them, we were down, but we just kept fighting. That’s three really good road wins in the league, and I’m proud of how this team has fought through some very tough road games.”

CARSON (56) — Smith 18, Perry 16, Mauldin 14, Clark 5, Spry 3, Harris, Jackson, Hales.

EAST ROWAN (49) — Hooper 20, Hinceman 9, Pinckney 5, Jefferson 5, Jordan 4, Shuping 3, Bennett 2, Sprinkle 1.

Carson      4     22    14    16    — 56

East          13   15    11     10   — 49