Dale’s/Sam Moir Christmas Classic: Carson girls win in rout

Published 11:40 pm Thursday, December 26, 2019

By David Shaw


SALISBURY — It didn’t take Carson’s girls basketball team long to make itself comfortable at Goodman Gym on Thursday.

The Cougars scored the game’s first 12 points and strolled to a 77-33 first-round victory over North Rowan in the Dale’s/Sam Moir Christmas Classic.

“We talked about getting off to a good start,” coach Brooke Stouder said, moments after defending champion Carson (10-1) hurdled into today’s semifinal round against East Rowan. “That’s really important to us. We talk a lot about winning the first four minutes and setting the tone early.”

Carson’s press defense forced 12 early turnovers, helping the Cougars open a double-digit first-quarter lead. When they launched the second with a 14-0 scoring spree, the lead ballooned to  30-5 with 4:51 remaining in the half. “I was thinking our second quarter was better than our first,” Stouder said. “We made just a couple of small changes to our press.”

North (6-3), the No. 5 seed, never saw it coming.

“It just wasn’t a good night for us,” losing coach Lamar Wilkerson said. “We had the jitters. We couldn’t handle their defense. We made too many mistakes.”

Carson, meanwhile, shot 55 percent from the field (33-for-60) and hit 10 3-pointers.

“I think we came out really strong,” said forward Carleigh Perry, a 5-9 junior who provided eight points and eight rebounds. “You can’t underestimate anything in the Christmas tournament. You have to look at every team like they can beat you.”

No one did more damage than her cousin, junior guard Colbie Perry. She shot 6-for-10 from the floor, netted a game-high 16 points and drained four of her six 3-point attempts.

“I like to shoot the 3-balls,” Colbie Perry said. “Every time I shoot one, I feel confident, like I know it’s going in. But I have to thank my teammates, the passers. They get me going, get me opportunities.”

Carson finished 10-for-21 from beyond the arc. Junior Ellie Wilhelm added 11 points and sophomore Aliayah White contributed 10 off the bench.

“Colbie was hot early,” Stouder said, after Perry drained three long balls in the opening 12 minutes. “She’s a good shooter. She can do that. It was good for her confidence and good for our team.”

Stouder knows the Cougars wear an inviting target as they move into the semifinals, where three undefeated squads await. Carson advances carrying its second five-game winning streak of the season.

“We don’t really care what seed we are,” she said. “The only difference between being a one-seed and a four-seed is your first game. You’ve got to win the first one, then start picking them off one at a time.”

NOTES: A running clock was triggered as the fourth quarter began. North scored the first seven points of the final period. Carson scored the game’s last 10. … Sophomore Hannah Freeman had 14 points, five rebounds and three steals for the Cavaliers. Teammate Natavia Taborn had 13 points. … Wilhelm knocked down three 3-pointers. … Top-seeded East (11-0) advanced with a 64-24 first-round rout of Davie County.

NORTH ROWAN (33) — Freeman 14, Taborn 13, McDaniel 2, Cannie 2, Stoner 1, Perry 1, Elder, Lynch.

CARSON (77) — Co.Perry 16, Wilhelm 11, White 10, Ca. Perry 8, H.Isley 8, Post 6, L.Isley 6, Conrad 5,R.Isley 5, Sanns 2, Corley.

North Rowan      5     5    16     7 — 33

Carson                 16   25   26   10 — 77