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This past weekend kicked off what was for many civic and religious organizations the prime viewing time for their annual Christmas thespian productions. And that was a good thing. For there was no drama to be found in Galax’s gym Friday night.
Carroll County built a 10-point lead in the first quarter and was ahead by double figures for all but a few moments the rest of the way, taking a 47-35 nondistrict win over the Maroon Tide.
Carroll County improved to 2-1 with the win before moving on, already, to River Ridge District play with a pair of league contests this week against former New River District foes Christiansburg and Blacksburg. Galax dropped to 1-1 and will get another crack at the Cavaliers when the Maroon Tide travels to Hillsville to complete the home and home series on Friday.
Carroll County needed just two seconds to take the lead for the rest of the night, converting the opening tip into a Connor Lundy layup that was followed by a Winston Giles runner from the lane. Galax got on the board with a 3-pointer from Cliff Conley but the Cavaliers went on a 13-3 run over the final four minutes of the first half to go up by double figures.
Lundy dropped in nine first-quarter points, including a 3-pointer, and his steal set up a Blake Dalton layup to close the first period with the Cavaliers in front 16-6.
Galax got a three-point play from Darian Brown early in the second quarter to cut the gap to single digits, 18-9, and the Maroon Tide was within nine after Stew Merdian’s putback with 3:01 left in the half, but Lundy swished a 3-pointer off a kick-out from Gunnar Beamer, and Dane Shinault drained a trey from the lft corner to close the first half with Carroll County in front 26-11.
Galax was held to 4-of-31 shooting in the first 16 minutes but to its credit the Maroon Tide never allowed itself to be put away, thanks in part to a cold second half by the Cavaliers.
Carroll County managed to attempt just 16 field goals the entire second half, hitting just six. Three of them came in a 93-second span in the third quarter when Duncan Reece put back his own miss, Lundy dropped in a jumper from the foul line and then grabbed a defensive rebound and flipped an outlet pass to Cody Keith for a layup. Beamer hit a free throw with 2:44 showing in the third quarter to give Carroll County a 33-14 lead, its largest of the night.
Galax spent the rest of the night creeping back to within uncomfortable distance of the Cavaliers.
After trading buckets to a 44-26 Cavalier lead with less than four minutes remaining, Galax reeled off seven unanswered points to flirt with getting back to within single digits. Cliff Conley converted a three-point play to get the ball rolling for Galax with 2:29 remaining, Caleb Pack put back an offensive rebound and Conley scored from underneath to whittle the Carroll lead to just 11 points, 44-33, with 1:26 to go. The late Tide surge prompted a return to the floor of Carroll’s starting five, which had been pulled with 2:30 to play.
Lundy would lead all scorers with 20 points, including 14 in the first half, and the senior wing also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Keith added 10 points and Reece pulled down eight boards for Carroll County.
Galax followed its 4-of-31 first half with an 11-of-26 second half but finished just 2-for-21 from behind the 3-point line. Conley paced the Maroon Tide with 12 points, including six in the fourth quarter, and Pack gathered a team-high nine rebounds.
Carroll County......16 10 10 11––47
Galax.......................6 5 9 14––34
Carroll County (3-1)
Beamer 0 1-2 1, Lundy 8 2-6 20, Keith 5 0-0 10, Giles 2 3-4 7, Reece 1 2-4 4, Shinault 1 1-2 4, Dalton 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 10-20 47.
Conley 5 1-3 12, D.Brown 1 1-1 3, Peoples 1 0-0 2, Quesenberry 0 0-0 0, Pack 1 0-0 2, K.Brown 1 0-2 2, Merdian 2 0-2 4, Garvey 3 0-0 6, DiGiacomo 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 2-8 34.
Three-point field goals – Carroll County 3-10 (Lundy 2, Shinault), Galax 2-21 (Conley, DiGiacomo). Rebounds – Carroll County 37 (Lundy 9), Galax 34 (Pack 9). Turnovers – Carroll County 18, Galax 14. Team fouls – Carroll County 13, Galax 15. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none.