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HILLSVILLE –– Carroll County basketball fans know it’s coming, or at least they think they do. More times than not, they’re right.
In winning its 17th game without a loss – the best start in school history – Carroll County once again did what it has already done so many times this year. One minute the Cavaliers will be in a battle. Two or four or eight minutes later, they’re sitting atop a 20-point lead.
Such was the case again Wednesday night as Carroll County used a 30-point third-quarter blitz to subdue Grayson County, pulling away for a 61-41 nondistrict win over the Blue Devils.
The two highly-skilled, athletic and experienced teams spent the better part of two quarters in what was basically an extension of last month’s one-point overtime win by the Cavaliers. Though Carroll County never trailed after taking the lead late in the first quarter, the Blue Devils (11-5) matched the Cavaliers bucket for bucket, run for run for much of the first half, trailing just 34-31 at intermission.
Carroll County came out of the halftime locker room and promptly stepped on the accelerator.
Connor Lundy and Chris Smoot, both held scoreless in the first half, poured in a combined 21 points in the third period, knocking down four 3-pointers between them. Lundy had five points and Smoot four in the first 2:40 of the second half, with two Smoot free throws widening the Cavalier lead to 43-33.
Smoot hit from behind the arc on the left wing, Duncan Reece put back his own miss and Lundy canned the third of his three catch-and-release 3-pointers as Carroll wrapped up the third period with a 64-44 advantage.
Lundy dropped in a runner and Cody Keith swiped in the inbounds pass and kicked out to Gunnar Beamer for a 3-pointer as the Cavaliers enjoyed their largest lead of the night, 71-46, with 5:46 to play.
Carroll County wrapped up the night by hitting all eight of its fourth-quarter free throw attempts, going 18-of-21 from the foul line (86 percent) for the game.
Mikey Rodgers and Max Rodgers combined for three 3-pointers and 13 of Grayson County’s 17 first-quarter points. Mikey Rodgers had two treys and eight points in the game’s first 70 seconds, and Max Rodgers’ drive had the Blue Devils leading 15-10 midway through the first quarter. Carroll took the lead for good by finishing the first period on a 15-2 run with all the scoring done by Ryan Gravley and Duncan Reece. Gravley was 8-of-8 from the foul line in the first period and Reece had nine first-quarter points as the two combined for 30 points before halftime.
Grayson County got right back in it by opening the second quarter with an 11-3 run. Ty Cannaday swished a trey and hit two free throws, Adam Wyatt and Jack Circle hit midrange shots and Max Rodgers scored off an offensive rebound to bring the Blue Devils even at 28-28.
Backing up Gravley’s 19-point effort, Lundy finished with 15 points and Reece scored 13 for the Cavaliers. Cannaday led the Blue Devils with 19 points, Max Rodgers scored 15 and Mikey Rodgers added 10 for the Blue Devils.
Grayson County......17 14 13 17––61
Carroll County.........25 9 30 17––81
Grayson County (11-5)
Frost 1 0-0 2, Cannaday 6 6-6 19, Mk.Rodgers 4 0-0 10, Mx.Rodgers 6 2-3 15, Wyatt 4 0-0 8, Davis 1 0-0 2, Circle 2 1-2 5. Totals 24 9-11 61.
Carroll County (17-0)
Gravley 5 8-8 19, Smoot 3 2-2 9, Beamer 2 0-1 5, Lundy 6 0-0 15, Keith 1 0-0 2, Lineberry 1 2-4 4, Dalton 0 2-2 2, Reece 6 1-1 13, Horton 4 0-0 8, Snow 0 2-2 2, Hayton 0 2-2 2. Totals 28 19-22 81.
Three-point field goals – Grayson County 4-13 (Mk.Rodgers 2, Cannaday, Mx.Rodgers), Carroll County 6-16 (Lundy 3, Gravley, Smoot, Beamer). Rebounds – Grayson County 29 (Mx.Rodgers 5), Carroll County 29 (Reece 6). Turnovers – Grayson County 25, Carroll County 13. Team fouls – Grayson County 17, Carroll County 11. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none.
JV – Grayson County 41-39.