High school basketball: Carson boys rally

Published 5:46 am Friday, January 8, 2021

JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST Carson’s Brian Perry

Staff report

CHINA GROVE — Carson’s boys basketball team beat South Rowan for the 17th time in a row on Thursday, but it was one of the more exciting struggles in a stretch that has included two one-point victories by the Cougars over their neighbors from across the bridge.

South last beat the Cougars, who had youngsters such as Tre Williams, Colton Laws and MyQuon Stout, in their third and final matchup during the 2011-12 season. South got a career game — 28 points — from Qua Neal that evening and Eric Tyler pitched in with 13. Tyler getting 13 in a basketball game was like him going 6-for-6 in baseball.

In the latest installment of the series, Carson came back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter and pulled it out 51-46.

“It was kind of like we’ve been talking about,” Carson coach Brian Perry said. “It wasn’t pretty. We had some terrible stretches. But we did what we needed to do. We kept playing.”

A lot of what happened was 5-foot-10 sophomore guard Emory Taylor, who made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points. Taylor doubled his career high. He got 10 against South Rowan last season.

Taylor is one of Carson’s two returners. This is a new squad. The numbers were short enough that Perry talked football players who had “retired” from baskeball into coming out. They made a difference against South. AJ Merriman scored nine points, while Brodie Johnson got five.

South Rowan, under new coach Daniel Blevins, also has a lot of fresh faces, although the Raiders were led Thursday by veterans — Ryan Woodman (12 points), Jayden Dextraze (11) and Barrett Thompson (8). Jackson Black, one of the new guys, also scored eight points.

Carson had some runs and took a 26-20 lead into the halftime break, mostly because of sophomore Jay Howard.  Perry’s scouting report says the long, lean Howard is a potential defensive stopper, but he came through with 10 points in the first half.

South wasn’t fazed by the first-half scoreboard, creamed Carson in the third quarter, caught up, and then sprinted ahead. Dextraze scored seven in the third. The Raiders led 39-33 going to the fourth quarter.

“We went about six minutes without scoring,” Perry said. “I believe we got down as many as 13. But then Emory got hot. Defensively, we got some turnovers and got some stops.

Carson (1-0) retook the lead and held on.  In the fourth quarter, the Cougars had an 18-7 advantage.

“We didn’t finish as smoothly as we wanted to,” Perry said. “But we don’t have guys who have been in that situation of trying to finish a game off. It’s something we’ll work on.”

The Cougars haven’t worked on protecting leads. Perry honestly didn’t know if he’d have any to protect.

But one victory could work wonders as far as the Cougars’ confidence. Blevins and the Raiders (0-2) will continue to search for their confidence-building first one.

“We don’t know how many we’ll be able to get,” Perry said. “So we’ll enjoy this one for a little while.”

Carson is scheduled to play at Davie on Saturday, although weather could be a factor.

Davie thumped South Iredell 59-39 on Thursday.


S. ROWAN (46) — Woodman 12, Dextraze 11, Thompson 8, Black 8, Chrismon 4, Kepley 2, Deal 1, Hedrick, McMillan, Hubbard, Garrett, Crainshaw, Holloman.

CARSON (51) — Taylor 20, Howard 12, Merriman 9, Johnson 5, Burris 3, McBride 2, Beasley, Collins, Hennie, Barrera, Epley.

South        8   12   19   7 — 46

Carson     12  14   7   18  — 51