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HILLSVILLE –– The fourth period in games like Carroll County’s win over Christiansburg is often little more than a mere formality. When there is a 45-point spread on the scoreboard after three quarters, the final eight minutes are pretty pointless. It got that way Tuesday because the first quarter was pointless for the Blue Demons.
Carroll County shut out Christiansburg for the first eight-plus minutes and overwhelmed the Demons to the tune of a 27-0 lead, coasting to an 86-40 win in the Cavaliers’ inaugural outing in the River Ridge District.
Stiffer district tests undoubtedly await the Cavaliers, who expect to compete for the River Ridge’s top spot, but this was certainly a good first step for Carroll in its new league.
“A real good way to start the district,” said Carroll County coach Brad Hawks, whose Group 4A Cavaliers will determine their Conference 24 seeding via results only against similar-size schools. “Anybody we play, division 3, 4 or 5, it’s winning percentage versus those schools for our conference tournament, so anybody we play and beat in those divisions is definitely a plus.”
Carroll County (3-1 overall, 1-0 RRD) scored off of the opening tip with a layup from Connor Lundy, who swiped the inbounds pass for another easy bucket as the Cavaliers built a double-figure lead in less than two minutes. Cody Keith completed a three-point play and Lundy, who had four steals and scored nine of his team-high 22 points in the first period, swished a 3-pointer at the 6:01 mark as the Cavaliers went ahead by 11. Lundy and Gunnar Beamer both hit from long range to push the lead to 21 points and Dane Shinault finished a fast break to close the first quarter with Carroll ahead 27-0.
Christiansburg (0-4, 0-1) missed its first 11 attempts from the floor and was just 3-of-24 in the first half, finally getting on the board with a single Kendall Smith free throw at 7:47 of the second. The Blue Demons had several first-quarter shots roll in and out before Tanner Cayton hit a layup at the 7:31 mark of the second for the Blue Demons’ first field goal, but Carroll County widened its lead to 45-12 by intermission. Cayton was 9-of-10 from the foul line and led Christiansburg with 17 points.
“I was really, really pleased, especially in the first half, defensively,” said Hawks. “I thought our man-to-man looked pretty good against Galax but I think we picked it up tonight. They had some open shots where we didn’t communicate the way we should have, and we were fortunate that they didn’t go in, but for the most part I was pleased, on the glass and with our defense.”
Having blanked Christiansburg for more than eight minutes to start the game, Carroll County put up a different kind of 0-fer in the third quarter, missing zero shots from the floor. The Cavaliers connected on their first 15 field goal attempts of the second half, including a perfect 13-of-13 in the third period. In the first and third periods combined, Carroll County shot a sizzling 23-of-27 (85 percent), including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
“We made some smart passes, we moved the ball really well post-to-post and post-to-guard,” Hawks said, “and that’s why we shot the ball better, because our ball movement was so much better.”
Carroll County shot 62 percent, 36-of-58, for the game, and had three double-digit scorers in addition to Lundy. Keith tossed in 13 and Beamer added 12 while Shinault scored 11 off the bench. The Cavaliers also held a 41-29 edge on the boards, led by Keith and Lundy with eight rebounds each.
“I was happy with the effort,” Hawks said. “Guys off the bench came in and played hard and under control.”
Christiansburg.........0 12 16 12––40
Carroll County.......27 18 28 13––86
Christiansburg (0-4, 0-1)
Herndon 1 2-4 4, Piemonte 0 0-2 0, Moore 2 0-0 4, Smith 2 1-2 6, Cayton 4 9-10 17, Martin 1 0-2 2, Jackson 1 1-2 3, Christian 1 1-2 4, Thorpe 0 0-1 0. Totals 12 14-24 40.
Carroll County (3-1, 1-0)
Beamer 5 0-0 12, Lundy 9 1-2 22, Keith 5 3-3 13, Giles 1 1-2 4, Reece 4 0-2 8, Shinault 5 0-0 11, Bowman 1 0-0 3, Dalton 3 0-0 7, Cochran 2 0-0 4, Hayton 1 0-1 2. Totals 36 5-10 86.
Three-point field goals – Christiansburg 2-18 (Christian, Smith), Carroll County 9-19 (Lundy 3, Beamer 2, Shinault, Bowman, Giles, Dalton). Rebounds – Christiansburg 29 (Cayton 6), Carroll County 41 (Lundy, Keith 8). Turnovers – Christiansburg 16, Carroll County 17. Team fouls – Christiansburg 12, Carroll County 15. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none.