High school basketball: Carson boys lose to hot-shooting team

Published 12:16 am Thursday, December 23, 2021

Carson’s Hunter Burris defends.


Staff report

CHINA GROVE — Leading scorer Jay Howard got in foul trouble and the shots wouldn’t fall for Emory Taylor.

It added up to another long night for the Carson boys.

After Wednesday’s 84-54 loss to Carolina International, the Cougars will lug an 0-8 record into next week’s Dale’s Sporting Goods Sam Moir Christmas Classic.

Carson will be seeded seventh, not eighth, only because neighbor South Rowan is 0-9.

Carson will be matched up with No. 2 seed Davie (6-3) in Tuesday’s first round.

“We’re not giving up or giving in,” said head coach Brian Perry who has guided the Cougars through many ups and downs over his 16 seasons.

Perry was there when the school opened, so he’s seen it all — good teams, average teams, bad teams.

The current Cougars won’t be defined by what happened before Christmas, but by what happens after the holiday.

“We haven’t handled the ball all that well or shot it very well, but I do see us getting better,” Perry said. “Sometimes it’s just a matter of making one extra pass on each possession, sharing the ball a little bit more. We looked better tonight running our halfcourt offense.”

While the record may not reflect it, Carson has four players who can score in bunches, plus the perfect fifth guy in Hunter Burris, who is out there to rebound, move the ball and defend and doesn’t care if he ever takes a shot.

“Most nights we’ve got somebody getting 17, 18, 19 points,” Perry said. “We’ve just got to get a combination of guys scoring. We start getting a couple of guys going at the same time, and we’ll start coming away with a few wins.”

Guard-heavy Carson played Tuesday against a talented North Rowan team and led late in the third quarter. Then North scored eight points in 40 seconds to take control. Turnovers and three-point plays.

“We go from up one to down 15 in four minutes against North, and that’s tough for us to come back from,” Perry said. “North is the No. 1 seed for the Christmas tournament, but we’re right there with them late in the third quarter. If we don’t have that bad minute, I believe it goes down to the wire.”

Against Carolina International, a charter school in Cabarrus County, Carson was not able to hang in there long.

Carolina International (3-6) shot almost 50 percent for the game, including 9-for-19 on 3-pointers.

Carolina International’s 6-foot-2 guard Kimman Power is regarded as a top prospect in the Class of 2023. Perry was impressed by him. Power scored 24 points, with only 12 field-goal attempts. Davion Featherston, a small guard, was 8-for-10 on free throws and scored 20.

Power made three 3-pointers in the first quarter. Carson’s Mikey Beasley came out hot and matched him to keep the Cougars in the game.

“We knew they could score — they’ve been putting up some 80s,” Perry said. “We needed to play better defense.”

Beasley scored 15 of Carson’s 17 in the first quarter. Carolina International clamped down on Beasley in the second quarter and took a 40-27 halftime lead.

Carson scored only seven points in the third quarter, as the visitors broke it open.

Beasley finished with 18. Cam Burleyson had 12. Freshman Colin Ball scored seven.

But the Cougars needed everyone clicking to keep pace with Carolina International. That didn’t happen.

Carson was optimistic in November and didn’t expect to start 0-8, but the Cougars went 0-3 in a flu-ridden first week of the season. They haven’t gotten back on their feet yet.

“We’ve played a lot of good teams and that’s part of the reason we are where we are now,” Perry said. “It’s all a process. We just have to keep fighting and working to get better.”

Carolina International     23    17    24    20   — 84

Carson                                 17    10     7     20    — 54

CARSON — Beasley 18, Burleyson 12, Ball 7, Taylor 5, Howard 3, Burris 3, Crawford 2, McBride 2, Guida 2.