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Carroll County falls short in Jackson’s farewell game

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The Cavs nearly sent a departing Damone Jackson out with a remarkable comeback win.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

HILLSVILLE –– Carroll County had one of its better days of the season Saturday, as far as turnovers go. But the Cavaliers will be hurting for the rest of the year due to one big traveling call.

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Carroll County cut a 16-point third-quarter deficit to three points before fading down the stretch in a 60-45 Southwest District loss Saturday to Richlands. Secondary to the outcome was the farewell bid to one of the Cavaliers’ more popular players, Damone Jackson.

Jackson, a junior who transferred to Carroll County in the fall, played his final game in a Cavalier uniform. With his family in the process of moving to Salisbury, N.C., Jackson stayed behind to play for the Cavaliers as long as possible.

Time ran out for him Saturday.

Fittingly, Jackson’s final game was his best during his brief stay in Hillsville. The 6-2 guard/forward had seven rebounds, six points and two steals, all of which came during Carroll County’s late rally.

“It was his best game yet,” Carroll County coach Brad Hawks said. “I really hate to lose him. He’s the most polite kid I’ve ever met in my life. Straight A student, never have to worry about anything with him. He’s an excellent kid and he’ll do well in life, but I sure hate to lose him.”

The Cavaliers (2-13 overall, 1-5 district) trailed 35-19 midway through the third quarter before making a game of it. Jackson’s stickback capped a 10-3 Carroll County run, and only a Gunner McGee three-point play and a Blake Tatum driving layup prevented the Cavaliers from facing less than their 40-29 deficit heading into the fourth.

Isaiah Thompson scored twice to open the fourth, Jackson added an inside bucket and Tyler Reavis picked Tatum’s pocket and scored on the other end, and suddenly the Cavaliers were within a 3-pointer, down just 44-41 with 3:05 to play.

The lead was at five points as Richlands (5-8, 3-4) sank four foul shots followed by a Thompson drive for Carroll, but the comeback ran out of steam as the Cavaliers made just one field goal the rest of the way while the Tornado hit 10 of 14 from the foul line in the final 3:02.

“We went to a tight man-to-man and put a lot more pressure on the ball and forced them to beat us from the free throw line, which they did at the end of the game,” said Hawks. “We cut it to three and kind of ran out of gas.”

An earlier cold snap made the Cavalier comeback necessary. Richlands led 9-8 at 3:45 of the first when Carroll misfired on 13 straight shots from the floor in a 17-0 Tornado spurt. The Cavaliers finished the half with an 8-2 run but still trailed 29-16 at halftime.

“We’re just playing catchup a lot,” Hawks said. “We’ll let them get a big lead and play alright from then on out. It’s not that we play bad, we just go through a cold spell shooting at least once a game. Our shooting percentages have been terrible this year.”

Only five players scored for Richlands, but four reached double figures, led by McGee’s 18 points. Ethain Keene added 15.

Thompson scored 10 for Carroll, as did Reavis, who had a team-high 10 rebounds.

Jackson fouled out with a couple minutes to go, leaving the floor to an extended standing ovation.

“I was looking more from Demone next year,” said Hawks. “He was just coming into his own, and I really think he could have helped us scoring next year. I believe he’s going to grow a couple more inches, because he wore a size 16 shoe, and I was planning on putting him in the post next year. It just kills me to see him go.”

Richlands 16 13 11 20––60

Carroll County 8 8 13 16––45

Richlands (5-8, 3-4)

Tatum 3 2-2 10, Mulkey 3 2-2 11, Keene 5 5-10 15, McGee 5 8-10 18, Lawrence 3 0-2 6, Meadows 0 0-0 0, Boyd 0 0-0 0, Anders 0 0-0 0, Patton 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 17-26 60.

Carroll County (2-13, 1-5)

Reavis 4 1-2 10, Thompson 5 0-0 10, Jackson 2 2-6 6, Atwood 0 0-0 0, L.Marshall 1 6-10 9, E.Marshall 0 0-0 0, Shupe 0 0-0 0, Frazier 0 2-2 2, Jones 0 0-2 0, Lanning 2 0-0 4, R.Marshall 0 0-0 0. Fink 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 11-20 45.

Three-point field goals – Richlands 5-21 (Mulkey 3, Tatum 2), Carroll County 2-17 (Reavis, L.Marshall). Rebounds – Richlands 35 (Keene 16), Carroll County 36 (L.Marshall, Jackson 8). Turnovers – Richlands 16, Carroll County 14. Steals – Richlands 8 (McGee 3), Carroll County 11 (Reavis 4). Team fouls – Richlands 17, Carroll County 24. Fouled out – Lawrence, Thompson, Jackson, Jones. Technical fouls – none.

JV – Carroll County 54-34.