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Cavs get another shot at Bassett

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Carroll County opens the postseason with a chance to avenge a 17-14 loss to the Bengals.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

 HILLSVILLE –– Carroll County gets a do-over.

Having just suffered a last-second, 17-14 loss to Bassett to open the 2010 season back in August, a common sentiment along the Cavaliers’ sideline was, boy, I’d like to have another chance at that one.

Carroll County will get that opportunity tonight (Friday) when the Cavaliers and Bengals open Region IV Division 4 playoff action at Tommy Thompson Field.

“I really have thought of it a lot,” said Carroll County coach Tom Hale, whose Cavaliers went on to a 7-3 record and the No. 4 seed in the six-team field. “We had opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of. Daggone, to finish up 8-2 and have the second-best record since I’ve been here, I’ve thought about it a lot, to be honest. I think our kids have too.”

The advantage would appear to be with the Cavaliers the second time around, for several reasons. Carroll County went to work with an entirely new offensive line in Week 1 and did everything but pull off the win against a senior-dominated Bassett team.

“Watching us from the first game and watching us now, we have definitely improved,” Hale said. “What we need to find out is how much has Bassett improved. I’m sure they have. We see some things that we could have done better, and you look at us now and we’re doing those things better. We’ve definitely made progress.”

Bassett has transformed into more of a spread offense throughout the season while the Cavaliers have just been honing what they always do. The results have been apparent in the number of points Carroll has put up, scoring 47 or more three times, including a school-record 60 in last week’s win over Graham. The production has even surprised Hale.

“I really am. We [started the year with] a lot of inexperienced linemen. We’ve got good experience with our skill people, but they’re only going to be as good as the guys who are blocking for them. I feel like our linemen have really progressed, and I think our staff has done an excellent job getting those guys to where they are right now.”

Though differing vastly in style of play and physical make-up, the two teams appear very equal. Neither one had a bit of luck against Christiansburg, both rolled to easy wins over Patrick County, and of course their first meeting went down to the wire.

The big key is what each team does with what it learned 11 weeks ago. Carroll County couldn’t contain Shaq Finney, and the speedy Bengal broke two big scoring plays, including a 53-yard punt return, then had to big gains in the drive that led up to the winning field goal.

 “We can’t let the Finney kid get away from us,” said Hale. “He’s a heck of a player on both sides and he’ll give us something to worry about with our kicking game. We know he and the quarterback, we’ve got to stop. We didn’t do that consistently in the first game.”

The Cavaliers have another thing going for them, and that is getting their second chance in the friendly confines of Tommy Thompson Field.

“It’s a big advantage for us to get to play them again,” Hale said. “It’s tough to beat a team twice, especially on their home field. We know it will be tough and we’re not taking anything for granted, but we’re definitely looking forward to another shot.”

 

Region IV Division 4 first round

 

Bassett (4-6) at Carroll County (7-3)

Friday, 7:30 p.m., Tommy Thompson Field

Radio: WWEZ FM 101.1, Hillsville

 

Last week

Bassett lost to Magna Vista 48-7

Carroll County defeated Graham 60-21

Last meeting

Aug. 27 (Bassett, 17-14)

Last Carroll County win

2006 (19-7)

Common opponents

Christiansburg

Bassett lost 29-0 Sept. 17

Carroll County lost 40-0 Sept. 10

Patrick County

Bassett won 43-0 Oct. 29

Carroll County won 47-19 Sept. 3

 

The season

Bassett                  Carroll County

D Carroll County 17-14         8/27         L to Bassett 17-14

L to PH-Roanoke 26-7         9/3         D Patrick Co. 47-19

D Jefferson Forest 42-7         9/10         L to C’burg 40-0

L to C’burg 29-0         9/17         D Tazewell 50-13

L to Franklin Co. 34-23         9/24         D Grayson Co. 36-35 ot

Open         10/1         Open

L to Amherst Co. 24-7         10/8         D Abingdon 28-3

L to Martinsville 23-0         10/15         D Marion 39-0

D Tunstall 43-6         10/22         D Grundy 20-0

D Patrick Co. 43-0         10/29         L to Richlands 63-0

L to Magna Vista 48-7         11/3         D Graham 60-21

 

The series

2004–#Bassett 35-14        

2005–Bassett 36-19        

2006–Carroll Co. 19-7        

2007–Bassett 41-6

2008–Bassett 28-7

2009–Bassett 21-20

2010–Bassett 17-14

# playoffs

 

Overall

Bassett leads 6-1