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HILLSVILLE –– Carroll County and Salem took turns landing jabs for the first two quarters of their River Ridge District showdown Friday. The Cavaliers finally landed a haymaker in the third.
Carroll County led by five points midway through the third when Keely Lundy hit three 3-pointers to key an 18-2 tear that extended into the early part of the fourth, and the Cavaliers remained perfect in RRD play with a 58-39 win over the Spartans.
“The Lundy kid got hot so we started running everything we had in the playbook for her,” said Cavalier coach Marc Motley. “We rode her until she missed one.”
Carroll County (14-2 overall, 9-0 district) used a defensive change by the Spartans (12-4, 6-2) to its advantage.
“We noticed they came out of their matchup zone into a man, and they switch everything,” Motley said. “Well, if they’re going to switch everything, we’re going to make their bigs guard our guards.”
Megan Alderman swished a 3-pointer to start the big Cavalier run, Crysta Guynn scored on a spinning drive and Mattie Kennedy hit a midrange jumper for a 38-26 Carroll lead. After a Megan Migliarese putback and the defensive adjustment for the Spartans, Lundy hit deep treys on consecutive possessions and Rylee Haynes closed the quarter with a cut to the bucket for a 46-28 lead.
“We didn’t close the second quarter at all,” said Motley. “We gave them the run going into halftime and we talked about coming out at halftime and showing how we’re supposed to play, and close that third quarter.”
Lundy opened the fourth period with another long 3-pointer to widen the lead to 21 points, 49-28. Salem would get no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
“We got three set plays out of it, and [Lundy] hit all three,” Motley said. “Volleyball line and in, she’s ready to shoot. Defenders are most of the time taught to play one step beyond the 3-point line, and she is one step past that.”
Lundy hit four 3-pointers and led all scorers with 14 points. Alderman and Guynn each had a pair of treys and scored 12 points each and Kennedy added 10.
The first 16 minutes consisted of a trade of mini-runs between the two teams. Carroll’s 9-3 spurt to open the game was followed by seven straight Salem points. Each team scored six straight before the Cavaliers went on a 9-0 run that ended with a Guynn 3-pointer and two Kennedy free throws for a 29-18 lead, but Salem closed the half with seven unanswered and trailed 29-25 at the break. The Spartans were led by Hannah Coulling with 12 points.
The Cavaliers, who turned the ball over just six times, have yet to experience a district defeat in their first year as members of the River Ridge, traditionally one of the more competitive leagues in the state. For Motley, the move from the Southwest District was a good one as far as his program is concerned.
“We felt like we could compete,” he said. “You get so much more exposure in the Roanoke area, and we wanted our kids to get that because we have some pretty good basketball players around here. And it pushes me to make us work harder.”
Salem....................13 12 3 11––39
Carroll County......18 11 17 12––58
Salem (12-4, 6-2)
Dishaw 0 0-0 0, Foley 3 2-5 8, Migliarese 1 1-4 3, Rich 1 0-1 2, Price 1 0-0 3, Coulling 4 1-2 12, Plympton 1 1-2 3, Dennis 2 4-8 8. Totals 13 9-22 39.
Carroll County (14-2, 9-0)
Alderman 4 2-2 12, Lundy 5 2-6 16, Kennedy 3 4-6 10, Haynes 2 0-1 4, Guynn 4 2-2 12, Turman 2 0-0 4, Reece 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 10-17 58.
Three-point field goals – Salem 4-11 (Coulling 3, Price), Carroll County 8-20 (Lundy 4, Alderman 2, Guynn 2). Rebounds – Salem 31 (Dennis 9), Carroll County 30 (three with 5). Turnovers – Salem 13, Carroll County 6. Team fouls – Salem 18, Carroll County 14. Fouled out – Dishaw, Reece.