High school girls basketball: Mustangs take third

Published 12:45 am Saturday, December 31, 2022


Staff report

SALISBURY — Free-throw shooters in Friday’s girls third-place game in the Dale’s Sporting Goods Sam Moir Christmas Classic took the hand grenades and horseshoes approach.

Just try to get it close.

Carson and East Rowan were both playing for the third day in a row, and that probably had something to do with their struggle on those unguarded 15-footers.

East went 8-for-23 from the foul line, while the Cougars were 11-for-32.

Third-seeded East won 46-35 over the fifth-seeded Cougars.

“We missed 21 free throws, sighed Carson coach Brooke Stouder. “That’s the difference in the game. We missed 11 free throws in the first half, and if we make five or six of those, it puts us in a totally different frame of mind.”

The Mustangs (6-5) took a 22-15 lead to halftime and forged ahead by double digits in the third quarter. Cougars (2-9) were making a parade to the foul line, but often came up empty.

“We were just gassed in the second half,” Stouder said. “It’s the first time this group has played three games in three days and it showed.”

Hannah Waddell led East with 12 points. She made three 3-pointers and scored 11 before the break to get the Mustangs that halftime lead.

Lindsey Cook scored nine. Kady Collins and Hallie Cox helped out with six each. Cox made two 3-pointers.

Nine Mustangs scored. East needed every point it could muster with Mary Church, an important ball-handler and scorer, missing from the lineup.

Allie Martin scored 12 for Carson. Laila Furr and Brooklyn McBride contributed eight each.

East coach Bri Evans was happy. East won on her husband’s birthday.

The Mustangs also won back-to-back in the tournament, and any year you can win two in the Moir it’s a positive.

‘Well, we won six games all of last season and now we’ve already won six this year,” Evans said. “Glad we could pull another one out.”

East will return to action in the South Piedmont Conference with a 3-0 record. That 3-0 includes a pretty nice road victory at Northwest Cabarrus.

Stouder’s Cougars went 1-2 in the tournament, but they’ll take it. Besides winning against South Rowan, Carson was able to play a competitive game with the Mustangs.

That’s progress. Baby steps forward. Get a little better every day.

“Great win for us here on the first day and we were right there today if we can make a few free throws,” Stouder said. “We’ll keep working.”

Carson    9   6   11   9  — 35

East        16   6  16  8  — 46

Carson — Martin 12, Furr 8,McBride 8, Locklear 2, McCubbins 2, Carpenter 2, Steele 1.

East — Waddell 12, Cook 9, Collins 6, Cox 6, L. Kluttz 4, S. Featherstone 3, Whicker 2, Boardley 2, M. Kluttz 2.