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HILLSVILLE –– Lindsay Martin scored the 1,000th point of her varsity career Tuesday night. Somewhere up in the stands probably sat a little elementary school girl thinking, ‘That’s me some day.’
Thus is the self-fulfilling prophecy of Carroll County girls’ basketball.
The Cavaliers took another step toward making an already-crammed trophy case a little more crowded and provided more fuel for more little girls to want to become Lady Cavaliers as Carroll drubbed Abingdon 56-29 in the Southwest District tournament semifinals.
Carroll County (18-4) played Richlands for the tournament title Thursday. Abingdon dropped to 2-21 yet still may advance to the Region IV tournament, pending its consolation game outcome.
The Cavaliers have won all but one regular season championship since 1999 and all but two tournament championships during that same time. Carroll coach Marc Motley, in his 10th year at the post, doesn’t have to make basketball players out of high school kids, just mold them to his system once they get to the high school level.
“Our kids work extremely hard but I’ll be honest with you,” he said. “It starts with our kids when they’re in about third and fourth grade. We have a great AAU program running through here and we get a lot of numbers, and they just stay with it. They work hard, and we don’t have to battle to get these kids in here in the summer. If that gym door’s open, they’re playing.”
It took a few minutes to get going Tuesday, but once the Cavaliers got in a rhythm, Abingdon had little chance for an upset. The Falcons led as late as the final minute of the opening quarter when two Kathryn Harrison free throws put them ahead 11-9, but Megan Alderman’s 3-pointer ended the first quarter for Carroll and started a 26-5 run that would stretch all the way into the third.
All Abingdon’s points came from the foul line in that stretch. The Falcons got a layup from Taylor Blevins at the three-minute mark of the first quarter and wouldn’t score from the field again for nearly two full quarters, when Katelyn Stewart scored with 3:08 left in the third, ending string of 20 straight Falcon misses.
“We put them on the free throw line quite a bit but we were being aggressive putting them on the line,” Motley said. “It wasn’t like we were just hacking people. I was pleased defensively. I have been most every game this year. We’ve only had a couple of teams in our district score 40 on us.”
Six different Cavaliers scored in the second quarter and Martin opened the second half with a 3-pointer for a 29-14 lead. Two free throws and a bucket by Shyann Dalton, followed by a Crysta Guynn drive, pushed the lead past 20 points at 4:02 of the third.
“This is the deepest team I’ve ever had,” Motley said after 10 of his 12 players scored. “I can play 12 kids on a nightly basis. I’m very comfortable with them, too. I don’t have a problem going to the bench and getting five new ones.”
Martin swished two free throws with 6:47 remaining to top 1,000 points. If she looked surprised when the game was stopped to present her the ball, it’s because she probably was.
“She may have been keeping up with it but I don’t think she had any idea,” said Motley. “She asked our assistant a few days ago how far away she was, and she told her 60 points. We just wanted her to play her game and not have anything else on her mind. When she plays she’s as good as we’ve ever had here.”
Martin finished with 17 points to go with five rebounds. Shyann Dalton pulled down 12 boards to go with six points and Michala Hash scored nine.
Taylor Blevins had eight points to lead Abingdon, which shot 14.9 percent (7-of-47) from the floor.
Abingdon...............11 3 8 7––29
Carroll County......12 14 11 19––56
Ball 0 0-1 0, Hilt 0 0-0 0, Piehl 0 0-0 0, Turner 1 3-4 6, Billips 0 0-0 0, Harrison 1 2-2 4, Mullins 1 0-0 3, Greear 0 1-2 1, McNevlin 0 0-0 0, Bays 1 2-2 5, Stewart 1 0-0 2, Blevins 2 4-6 8. Totals 7 12-17 29.
Carroll County (18-4)
Alderman 1 0-0 3, Hiatt 2 0-0 4, R.Dalton 2 2-2 6, Caldwell 0 1-2 1, T.Martin 0 0-0 0, Hash 1 6-6 9, Guynn 1 0-0 2, McCann 2 0-0 4, L.Martin 4 6-7 17, Sellers 2 0-0 4, Willard 0 0-0 0, S.Dalton 2 2-4 6. Totals 17 17-21 56.
Three-point field goals – Abingdon 3-9 (Turner, Mullins, Bays), Carroll County 5-13 (L.Martin 3, Alderman, Hash). Rebounds – Abingdon 33 (Bays 8), Carroll County 46 (S.Dalton 12). Turnovers – Abingdon 19, Carroll County 15. Team fouls – Abingdon 20, Carroll County 16. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none.