High school girls basketball: Cougars on top in SPC

Published 10:44 pm Tuesday, February 1, 2022

By Mike London

CHINA GROVE— The Jan. 4 game at Northwest Cabarrus was the low point of the season for Carson’s girls basketball team.

That was a one-point loss that included 12-for-24 foul shooting by the Cougars, 25 frantic turnovers and a last-second stickback by the home team.

Not surprisingly, Carson was ready for the rematch at home. With first place in the South Piedmont Conference on the line, the Cougars buried the Trojans 54-25.

“It was a spectacular defensive effort, above all,” said Carson head coach Brooke Stouder, who logged her 250th win at the helm of the Cougars.

Carson (15-3, 8-1) did everything better than it did in the first meeting with Northwest (11-2, 7-2).

Shot free throws better (11-for-14). Cut the turnovers in half. Smashed the Trojans on the boards.

“Composure was the most important word for us tonight,” Stouder said. “Northwest is aggressive and physical, but we handled things a lot better this time. It’s not like we played a perfect game. We made our share of mistakes, but we had great effort. We got steals fronting the post. We rebounded, and every loose ball, we got after it.”

Carson led 13-2 after a quarter. The visitors had their best moments in the second quarter.

“They speeded us up some, got us to play at a pace where we weren’t very comfortable,” Stouder said.

Carson’s lead was 25-16 at the break, and Northwest still had a shot, but Carson held the Trojans to five points in a dominating third quarter that settled it.

Northwest standout Chaunesse Barringer, who is spectacularly fast, didn’t score in the second half.

“We did a good job of playing most of their girls for the drive and limiting the shots for their shooter (Leah Zsambeky),” Stouder said.

Mary Spry, a senior headed to Catawba, had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars. Senior Hannah Isley had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Makayla Johnson shot 6-for-10 and scored a career-high 13. Senior Aliayah White had eight points and eight rebounds.

Carson will play at East Rowan on Friday and at Concord on Saturday.

NW Cabarrus   2    14   5    4   —  25

Carson             13     12   16  13 — 54

NWC — Hilsenroth 6, Barringer 6, Moore 4, Walton 4, Zsambeky 3, McIntyre 2.

CARSON — Spry 14, H. Isley 13, Johnson 13, White 8, Corley 4, R. Isley 2.