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Carroll completes comeback

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After losing two of their first three district games, the Cavaliers clinch a tie for the SWD crown.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

HILLSVILLE –– It was understandable if Carroll County didn’t play its best basketball game of the year Tuesday night. After all, most of the Cavaliers had gotten in bed sometime after midnight the night before, having just completed a weeks-long climb back to the top of the Southwest District girls’ standings.

Having entered the week at the No. 3 spot in the SWD, Carroll County is now the leader in the clubhouse after topping Richlands 37-35 Monday and Marion 50-38 on Tuesday.

With its regular season concluded, Carroll County (13-8 overall, 6-2 district) will await the outcome of tonight’s Tazewell-Richlands game. A Richlands win will set up a playoff for the district’s top spot, while a Tazewell win gives the Cavaliers the season title outright. Tazewell was in the mix until an upset loss Tuesday to Abingdon bumped the Bulldogs out of a possible three-way tie entering the final night of play.

Cassidi McCann scored six points and Taylor Martin added four in a 13-0 run in the first quarter that put the Cavaliers on top for good, 13-2. Marion got as close as 14-11 early in the second quarter before Carroll pulled out to a 29-15 halftime lead. Marion was never within single digits the rest of the way.

“We got a big win last night, we get back at 11:30, it was an emotionally draining win when you win it the way we did, and you came out here it’s senior night and the kids have tears in their eyes walking out. We got up big and I think we relaxed,” Carroll coach Marc Motley said. “Crysta came in and just made some big shots. It wasn’t that we started playing better, Crysta just made big shots.”

Guynn hit three 3-pointers, two in the second quarter, and scored nine points, as did Rachel Sellers. McCann and Martin added eight points each, and Martin also had eight assists.

Carroll County’s win Monday over league-leading Richlands was a virtual playback – albeit with an alternate ending – of the two teams’ first meeting. On Jan. 12, with the score tied at 35, Carroll County missed two free throws with 8 seconds remaining in the game. Richlands’ Brittany Allen dribbled downfloor until stopped by a double-team at the top of the key and kicked out to Makenley Davis on the left wing, and Davis swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the win.

The score was again tied at 35 Monday. This time, Martin hit two foul shots for the Cavaliers with five ticks left. Again, Allen dribbled into a double-team at the top of the key before kicking out to Davis on the left side. Her 3-pointer was off the mark this time thanks to a partial deflection by Megan Alderman, and the Cavaliers had come all the way back from a 1-2 district mark to at least a share of the season title.

Held to 13 points at halftime, Carroll County entered the fourth quarter trailing 33-24 before Finishing with a 13-2 run. Martin hit two 3-pointers, fed Sellers to bring Carroll even at 35 and then sank the two clutch foul shots.

“I told them, ‘Guys, just keep shooting it. You will get hot,’ ” said Motley. “Well, none of our shooters got hot. Machala Hash finally made a 3 at the end of the third quarter, start of the fourth. A light switch came on with Taylor Martin, and she hit two 3s in the fourth quarter. She hadn’t hit but about five all year. She got hot, she made passes, she made the assist to Sellers to tie it and she made two free throws to win it. She just took over in the fourth quarter.”

Martin had eight of her team-high 13 in the period. Richlands hit just six field goals the entire game, only two coming from inside the 3-point line. Brittney Allen led Richlands with 11 points, all on free throws. 

 

Monday

Carroll County......6    7  11  13––37

Richlands..............6  16  11    2––35

 

Carroll County (12-8, 5-2)

Alderman 0 0-2 0, Sheek 1 0-0 2, Hash 1 3-4 6, Caldwell 1 0-1 2, Martin 2 7-8 15, Guynn 1 1-2 3, McCann 1 0-2 2, Sellers 4 1-4 9. Totals 11 12-25 37.

Richlands (14-3, 5-2)

Hearl 1 0-0 3, Davis 3 2-2 10, Richardson 3 0-3 9, Allen 0 11-13 11, Compton 0 0-2 0, R.Alley 1 0-0 2.

 

Three-point field goals – Carroll County 3 (Martin 2, Hash), Richlands 6 (Richardson 3, Davis 2, Hearl).

JV – Carroll County won.

 

Tuesday

Marion.....................8    7  14  9––38

Carroll County......14  15  13  8––50

 

Marion (4-16, 0-7)

Richardson 1 0-1 2, Williams 1 0-0 2, Ratliff 2 8-14 12, Moore 2 3-6 9, Pennington 4 0-2 9, Lincoln 1 0-0 2, Mellinger 0 2-2 2. Totals 11 13-25 38

Carroll County (13-8, 6-2)

Alderman 0 1-2 1, Sheek 2 0-1 4, Hash 2 1-2 5, Caldwell 2 0-0 4, Martin 3 2-2 8, Guynn 3 0-0 9, McCann 4 0-0 8, Sellers 3 3-4 9, Willard 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 7-11 50.

 

Three-point field goals – Marion 3-12 (Moore 2, Pennington), Carroll County 3-17 (Guynn 3). Rebounds – Marion 27 (Moore 8), Carroll County 37 (Sellers 8). Turnovers – Marion 24, Carroll County 15. Team fouls –Marion 10, Carroll County 20. Fouled out – Alderman. Technical fouls – Alderman.

JV – Carroll County won.