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HILLSVILLE –– Wrapping up a 17-win season is never a bad thing. It’s just a little sweeter when the list of senior night honorees is all of two names long.
Following the abbreviated senior intro, Carroll County capped its regular season by pulling away from Floyd County 65-50 in a nondistrict game Friday night.
Leading 28-25 at the half, the Cavaliers (17-4) quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter, taking a 39-29 advantage on a 17-foot jumper by Austin Horton followed by a tip-in by Wes Smoot with 4:27 left in the period.
Floyd County (17-5) was able to close to within 46-40 late in the third on an inbounds basket by Brandon Gearhart, but Ryan Gravley’s pull-up jumper from 15 feet beat the third quarter horn and sent the Cavaliers into the fourth with a 48-40 lead.
“We had a couple of brain lapses there in the second half trying to hold the ball and work for good shots, and had a couple of crucial turnovers,” Carroll County coach Brad Hawks said. “They do a good job with what they do, getting to the rim and making you play them straight up defense. We’ve got to do a better job handling the ball down the stretch.”
Gravley would score 14 points in the final 8:01, dropping in dozen points in the fourth. Carroll County spread the floor against the Floyd man-to-man defense and let Gravely repeatedly beat his defender off the dribble. Gravley hit three layups and was 6-of-7 from the foul line in the final period.
He and Smoot were the only Cavaliers to score in the fourth quarter, Smoot adding an exclamation point to the evening with a two-hand slam off a Gravley steal with two minutes left.
Smoot and fellow senior Nick Pack scored the first two baskets for the Cavaliers, who had their hands full with the Buffaloes in the first half. Caleb Tanner hit two early 3-pointers, topping the 1,000-point plateau in just his sophomore season, and scored eight first-quarter points as the two teams played to a 12-12 draw.
“We couldn’t have planned it any better for Nick and Wes scoring the first four points,” Hawks said. “It was good to see Nick get in there and get some minutes late in the game. It was a good note to send them out on.”
Two Dorean Harris baskets gave Floyd a 21-16 lead early in the second quarter but Cody Keith scored on stickbacks on consecutive possessions and a Chris Smoot drive had the Cavaliers back in front two minutes before the half. Tyler Lineberry’s inside bucket closed the half with Carroll County in front 28-25.
The Cavaliers were 16-of-20 from the foul line and outrebounded the Buffaloes 33-22, holding Floyd to four 3-pointers with solid perimeter defense.
Gravley led all scorers with 21 points, Horton scored 12 and drew four charges and Wes Smoot added 11 points.
Tanner and Harris led Floyd County with 18 and 10 points, respectively.
Floyd County........12 13 15 10––50
Carroll County......12 16 20 18––65
Floyd County (17-5)
Gearhart 1 0-0 2, Tanner 5 5-8 18, Velasquez 2 0-0 4, Faulkner 0 0-0 0, Neukirch 2 0-0 5, St.Pierre 0 0-0 0, Harris 5 0-0 10, Lemons 3 3-4 9, Underwood 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 8-12 50.
Carroll County (17-4)
Gravley 5 11-13 21, C.Smoot 3 0-0 7, Beamer 0 0-0 0, Lundy 1 0-0 2, Keith 2 0-0 4, Pack 1 0-0 2, Lineberry 2 2-4 6, W.Smoot 5 1-2 11, Horton 5 2-2 12. Totals 24 16-20 65.
Three-point field goals – Floyd County 4-19 (Tanner 3, Neukirch), Carroll County 1-6 (C.Smoot). Rebounds – Floyd County 22 (Velasquez 7), Carroll County 33 (Keith 5). Turnovers – Floyd County 20, Carroll County 13. Team fouls – Floyd County 20, Carroll County 9. Fouled out – Tanner, Harris. Technical fouls – Horton.
JV – Carroll County 47-25.