CLIMAX, NC – The Jesse Carson Cougars played a tight defensive game and got just enough offense to hold off Asheboro 51-40. With a senior class that now boasts 96 career wins, the Cougars claimed the program’s first Women’s Basketball State Championship.
Carleigh Perry turned it on in the second half, when her team needed it the most, knocking in 19 points and grabbing nine rebounds on her way to being named the Kay Yow 3A Women’s Basketball State Championship MVP.
Most Outstanding Player honors for Carson went to Ellie Wilhelm, the only other Cougar in double figures. Wilhelm had 13 points and six rebounds to go with her three assists and two steals. The Cougars managed to win the turnover battle, forcing 19 Blue Comet turnovers, and outrebound Asheboro 44-30.
Asheboro never quit, led by Diamond McDowell who played with passion and scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. She was the lone Blue Comet in double figures scoring or rebounding and was named Asheboro’s Most Outstanding Player.
Carson wrapped up the year 19-0, the Cougars were 10-0 in the North Piedmont 3A where they won the league championship for the fourth straight year. The Cougars made the school’s first appearance in an NCHSAA Women’s Basketball State Championship Game after winning their first Regional Championship.
Asheboro finished the season 15-1. The Blue Comets were 6-0 and champions of the Mid-Piedmont 3A. The Comets claimed the school’s first Regional Championships in the program’s history.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting and honoring outstanding sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to award Sportsmanship Awards to one athlete from each of the participating teams to recognize excellence in sportsmanship throughout the year. The Sportsmanship Award winners for the game were Ellen Long from Asheboro and Carleigh Perry from Jesse Carson.