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RIDGEWAY -- After starting strong, Carroll County allowed Bassett to take a 13-0 run in the third quarter, bolstered by its full-court press and high-pressure defense, and were never able to recover on its way to a 53-44 loss Friday in the Region IV Division girls’ title game. “We kinda lost that momentum, we weren’t able to find a way to get the basketball in the hole and we got fouled a few times and couldn’t make free throws on that either. Nothing seemed to be going in the basket on this end for us in the third quarter and it just killed us,” said Lady Cavaliers coach Marc Motley. With a five-point lead (22-17) at the half, Motley decided to bench his leading scorer Kayla Goins at the start of the second half because she had received her third foul before the break. Coincidence or not, the Lady Bengals pounced. Utilizing their full-court press and high-pressure defense the Bengals forced six turnovers and put up 13 unanswered points to take an eight-point lead (30-22) with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. “That was the game changer. The press and the defense in the third quarter changed the whole game,” said BHS coach Melissa Blair. “I guess we were down 26-22 at half and we just kept coming back. It comes down to heart.” The Cavaliers (19-4 overall) managed to pull back within two (35-33) when Kaitlin Viars was sent to the charity stripe and made both ends of a double bonus, but Carroll County was unable to rally as Bassett (17-4 overall) continued to force turnovers down the stretch and convert at the line. “We fought it right to the end and you get to the point where you’re down late and you gotta foul and Bassett stepped up and made free throws, they really did,” said Motley. “They come and press us and we turn it over late. I don’t know if we got tired or winded or what we just didn’t execute down the stretch.” Until the third quarter Bassett had taken the lead (6-5) only once, early in the first quarter, but never trailed again following their run after the break. The win marked the first regional championship for Bassett’s girls basketball program. Goins led the Cavaliers with 17 points. Maleah Neely added eight for Carroll County and Viars tacked on six.Bassett’s Julia Scales led all scorers with 19 points and Diandra Thompson helped with 15. Bassett.................10 7 18 18––53 Carroll County......15 7 7 15––44
Bassett (17-4) Scales 5 9-13 19, Thompson 5 5-6 15, Snead 2 4-5 8, Smith 2 2-6 8, Ashworth 1 0-0 2, Draper 0 1-2 1. Totals 15 21-32 53. Carroll County (19-4) Goins 5 6-11 17, Neely 3 2-8 8, Viars 2 2-2 6, Martin 2 0-0 5, Dickens 1 2-2 4, S.Dalton 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 12-23 44.
Three-point field goals – Bassett 2 (Smith 2), Carroll County 2 (Goins, Martin).