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MAX MEADOWS – It may not have been the championship game, but both teams played hard in the seventh-place matchup of the Wythe County BB&T Tournament Monday at Fort Chiswell High School.
Both Carroll and Bland Counties came into the match-up with an 0-2 record in the tournament with Carroll falling to Floyd on Friday night and host Fort Chiswell on Saturday. Bland on the other hand, lost to George Wythe Friday and PH-Glade Spring on Saturday.
On Monday night it was all about the Bears (4-5), who led all but 1:07 of the game. The Cavaliers (1-9) dropped their seventh straight game and finished last in the eight-team tournament.
Bland appeared content to use 3-pointers all night, starting the game off with three straight treys en route to a 9-4 lead in the first 3:07.
The Cavs fought back, going on a 6-2 run over the final 3:13 to pull within one point at the end of the first quarter.
Bland’s Jacob Lambert opened the second quarter up with a lay-up to put the Bears ahead by three before the Cavaliers went on a 6-0 run to take their only lead of the game.
The run included two beautiful fade-away jumpers by Tyler Reavis. Reavis then intercepted a Bears’ pass and found James Lanning under the net for two more points to give Carroll their first – and only – lead with 4:49 left in the half.
Unfortunately for the Cavs, the lead was short-lived when the Bears’ Josh Shrader rebounded a bricked shot and took it all the way to the basket to put Bland back up for the final time. Shrader’s shot was the first of a 6-0 run in which the Bears pulled ahead 21-16 with 2:35 remaining in the half.
After trading possessions, Bland led the way 26-20 at the half.
The Cavs opened the second half with a 9-6 run to pull within three of the Bears, but never got closer than that. Carroll only managed two points over the next two minutes before Reavis dropped back and nailed a 3-pointer with 56 ticks left in the third quarter to pull the Cavs within five points.
Bland responded with a long jumper by Aaron Blankenship with 30 seconds left to pull ahead by seven. The Cavs missed on their next possession and Bland quickly moved down the court.
A blocked shot sent the ball sailing beyond the lines and the clock showed 0.7 seconds. Bland’s Lambert found Blankenship wide open beyond the arc. Lambert quickly threw the ball up and sank a trey as the buzzer sounded to give the Bears a 10-point leading heading into the final eight minutes.
Carroll coach Brad Hawks argued with the referee that it was impossible to get off a shot with seven-tenths of a second left, but it fell on deaf ears.
The Cavs opened the fourth quarter with a 5-1 run to pull back within six points, but failed to capitalize on Bland’s mistakes.
The Bears’ missed on three straight possessions before Kyle Kennedy sank a basket with 4:15 remaining in the game. The score put Bland back up by eight points.
Carroll missed on the ensuing possession and, after a Bland turnover, missed two free throws. After giving up another wide open 3-pointer by Kennedy – who finished the night with 17 points, including five 3-pointers – the Cavs put together a 6-0 run to pull back within five points with 2:30 remaining in the game. Bland managed to outscore Carroll 11-3 down the stretch to take home seventh place by a final score of 61-48.
The Bears were led by Kennedy with 17 points and Josh Pennington with 10. Bland hit eight 3-pointers, while Carroll only sank one.
Lucas Marshall led the scoring for the Cavs with 12 points, followed by Reavis with 11.
Bland County 11 15 18 17––61
Carroll County 10 10 14 14––48
Bland County (4-5)
Ky. Kennedy 17, Kr. Kennedy 10, Myers 9, Shrader 8, Blankenship 6, Lambert 5, Leighton 4, Wright 2.
Carroll County (1-9)
L.Marshall 12, Reavis 11, Thompson 9, Lanning 6, Jones 5, Fink 2, E. Marshall 2, Frazier 1.
Three-point field goals – Bland County 8 (Ky. Kennedy 5, Kr. Kennedy 2, Blankenship), Carroll County 1 (Reavis).