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Cavs battle, fall short

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Pulaski County pulled away from a tie game in the final three minutes to take a 57-54 win.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

 HILLSVILLE –– Carroll County shrugged off a 10-0 Pulaski County run to open the second half and took a brief lead in the fourth quarter but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling to the Cougars 57-54 in a nondistrict girls’ basketball game Friday night.

Though the defending Region IV Division 4 runner-up Cavaliers have started the year 0-2, coach Marc Motley was encouraged by Friday’s showing.

“We didn’t quit,” said Motley. “That’s not something we did our first game. I don’t think we played hard against Patrick. We played hard tonight.”

A steal and layup by Maleah Neely tied the game at 49 with 3:31 to play but Raiven Patterson gave Pulaski County (2-0) the lead for good, first connecting on a driving layup and later hitting two fouls shots for a 53-49 advantage with 1:41 to go.

Neely converted a three-point play to cut the gap to 55-54 with 27 seconds left but Kelli Duncan’s drive to the bucket gave Pulaski a three-point spread, and a hurried 3-point attempt at the buzzer wouldn’t fall for the Cavaliers.

Pulaski County turned a 28-26 lead into a 12-point bulge by scoring the first 10 points of the second half, holding Carroll County scoreless the first 3:32 of the third quarter on 0-for-6 shooting with six turnovers.

“We didn’t come out of the locker room ready to play in the second half,” said Motley, who was hit with a technical foul that was converted into four Pulaski County points on two Kasey Holcomb free throws and a Patterson lay-in at the 4:46 mark of the third. “A few things didn’t go our way and I got a little fired up, and I hope it motivated them a little bit.”

The ‘T’ energized the Cavaliers, who closed the period with a 15-5 run to pull back to within two points, 43-41.

Shyann Dalton scored twice underneath and Rachel Dalton added a couple of driving buckets, and Shyann Dalton capped the rally with a three-point play for her ninth point of the period.

Lindsey Martin rattled in a 3-pointer from the left corner as Carroll County edged out in front 47-45 with 5:58 to play, but the Cougars answered with a 4-0 run fueled by turnovers on six of Carroll’s next seven possessions and Pulaski wouldn’t trail again.

Carroll played more than eight minutes in the second half without its starting point guard as Rachel Dalton left the floor with her fourth foul with 56 seconds to go in the third. Dalton returned midway through the fourth but was whistled with her fifth just 12 seconds later.

“When you play the entire fourth quarter without your point guard, you’ve got to like where we were,” Motley said. We defended enough to keep ourselves in it. We gave ourselves a shot.”

The Cavaliers played catch-up most of the night, falling behind 14-6 in the first seven minutes before a 10-0 run stretching into the second quarter gave them their first lead on a tying bucket by Neely followed by a drive by Rachel Dalton for a 16-14 advantage.

Pulaski used a Nikki Shay 3-pointer to take a 28-26 lead into the half.

Neely (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Shyann Dalton (11 points) led the Cavaliers, and Neely added some solid defense on Patterson.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody play the Patterson kid as tough as she did tonight,” Motley said. “She did a tremendous job.”

Pulaski County got 16 points from Patterson and 11 each from Holcomb and Shay.

 

Pulaski County........... 14     14     15      14––57

Carroll County............. 12     14     15     13––54

 

Pulaski County (2-0)

McCloud 1 0-1 2, Holcomb 2 7-8 11, Patterson 7 2-5 16, Anderson 3 1-5 7, Chaffin 2 0-0 5, K.Duncan 2 1-4 5, Shay 5 0-1 11. Totals 22 11-24 57.

Carroll County (0-2)

Alderman 1 0-0 2, R.Dalton 4 0-0 8, Neely 5 5-8 15, T.Martin 0 2-4 2, Caldwell 1 0-0 2, Scott 2 0-0 4, L.Martin 3 1-2 8, S.Dalton 5 1-1 11. Totals 21 11-17 54.

 

Three-point field goals – Pulaski County 2-8 (Chaffin, Shay), Carroll County 1-9 (L.Martin). Rebounds – Pulaski County 37 (Anderson 14), Carroll County 38 (Neely 12). Turnovers – Pulaski County 23, Carroll County 29. Team fouls – Pulaski County 17, Carroll County 20. Fouled out – Anderson, R.Dalton. Technical fouls – Carroll County bench.

JV – Pulaski County 37-28.