Prep basketball: Carson girls lose NPC tourney title game

Published 12:46 am Saturday, February 23, 2019

Staff report

STATESVILLE — Carson’s girls basketball team lost for only the second time all season.

Both losses have come to Statesville’s Greyhounds in the school’s Herb Sampsel Gym, a venue that seems to bring out the worst in the Cougars.

Top-seeded Carson fell to the third-seeded tournament host, 54-43, in Friday’s North Piedmont Conference Tournament championship game.

“Statesville played well, they deserved to win, and we didn’t,” Carson coach Brooke Stouder said. “We didn’t play with the energy and passion that we need to play with. We didn’t attack enough and we didn’t rebound. We were passive. They hurt us some with their athletes, but we also did a lot to hurt ourselves.”

Carson’s strengths are normally ball movement, 3-point shooting and free-throw shooting, but the Cougars weren’t hitting from long range and only shot five free throws all night.

Carson led, 11-9, after the first quarter but slipped behind at halftime, 24-23.

“I thought we’d played really poorly, but we were only down one,” Stouder said. “We were still right there. We still had a good chance. We just needed to play better.”

But the Cougars (24-2) didn’t. They scored seven points in the third quarter to fall behind 37-30, and the Greyhounds didn’t wilt in the fourth quarter.

“They made a lot of shots,” Stouder said. “And when they’re shooting the ball well, they’re a really tough team.”

Tyaysia Sharpe led Statesville (20-6) with 18 points. Aasis McNeill scored 13, while Danasia Gray added 11.

Colbie Perry’s 13 points led the Cougars. McKenzie Gadson was held to nine. She’d scored in double figures 18 straight games.

Both teams move on to the 3A state playoffs. Pairings and seeds will be released Saturday. Carson should be at home for several games.

“We’ll regroup,” Stouder said.

STATESVILLE (54) — Sharpe 18, McNeill 13, Gray 11, Keaton 6, Bowman 4, Fields 2, Hoffman, Bailey.

CARSON (43) — Co. Perry 13, Gadson 9, Cooper 6, Wilhelm 6, H. Isley 5, L. Isley 2, Conrad 2, Hales, Post.

Statesville       9    15    13    17  — 54

Carson            11    12     7     13  — 43