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Third quarter lifts Cavs, 71-60

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A 19-2 run to open the second half broke open a close game as Grayson took its first loss.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

INDEPENDENCE –– Carroll County kept its season-opening winning streak going and handed Grayson County its first loss of the season, riding a strong third-quarter effort to a 71-60 win in a nondistrict game Friday night.

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Leading 36-33 after two quarters, the Cavaliers (4-0) opened the second half with a 19-2 run, hitting eight of their first 10 shots from the floor while holding the Blue Devils to 1-of-8 shooting with nine turnovers in the first 4:33 of the second half.

The two teams were knotted at 33 apiece with less than a minute to play in the first half. With 3:27 to play in the third quarter, the Cavaliers were enjoying a 20-point cushion.

“The first two quarters I was fairly happy with but I didn’t think we were getting after it like I thought we should defensively,” Carroll County coach Brad Hawks said. “I thought in the third quarter that we really came out with some fire in us, and it paid off. Our whole emphasis coming out of the first half was trapping harder, jumping the passing lanes, try to get to their legs a little bit and get up and down the floor as much as we could.”

Austin Horton opened the big third quarter with a basket underneath, and two Wes Smoot steals resulted in layups for he and Ryan Gravley. Connor Lundy hit a 3-pointer and Smoot capped the 11-0 run by swishing two free throws at the 5:28 mark. Grayson County (3-1) scored its first points of the second half on a Mikey Rodgers layup at the 5:12 mark, but the Cavaliers scored the game’s next eight points, including two Horton buckets.

“Bottom line is, they got some momentum going,” Grayson County coach Lucas Austin said. “We wanted to make sure we had somebody in the middle against their pressure. We got him there. Mikey was there. We attacked it a couple of times and missed a couple of easy shots and they made some plays in that stretch. We didn’t respond to it. We had a little lull and they took advantage of it. Their pressure is good and it affected us.”

Horton would score eight of his 14 points in a little more than six minutes during the third quarter. He also had two steals and drew a pair of charges on the defensive end.

“He had a rough first half,” Hawks said. “He did exactly what we want him to do – put his body on the line, trying to take charges, and he had a couple of calls go against him. He came back out in the third quarter and just played great. Worked hard down on the block and put his body on the line for the team, and you’ve got to commend him for that.”

Grayson County finally came back to life and closed the third quarter with an 8-4 run. Still down by 15 points with less than five minutes to play, the Blue Devils climbed back to within seven points with time enough remaining to do further damage.

Ty Cannaday knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Max Rodgers hit two free throws on consecutive trips down the floor. Austin Bedsaul’s foul shot had the Blue Devils down just 65-58 with 1:44 to play, but the Cavaliers ended any comeback hopes with six straight points on 6-of-9 free throw shooting over the final 1:32.

“We made a little run there, but they took care of the basketball and hit their free throws, especially the last minute and 45 seconds,” Austin said. “They made plays. When we didn’t, they took advantage of it and ran with it.”

“We had a few breakdowns in the fourth quarter, but it’s early and we have a few young kids, so that’s to be expected,” Hawks said.

Grayson County led 16-13 on a Cannaday 3-pointer before Gravley hit two foul shots and a 20-foot jumper to put Carroll County back in front 18-16 late in the first half. Lundy scored off an offensive rebound and Gunnar Beamer connected on a short runner for a 30-24 lead, but a half-court alley-oop pass from Mikey Rodgers to Max Rodgers sparked a 9-2 run that would end with Cannaday hitting again from long range, tying the game at 33.

Beamer swished a 3-pointer to close the half with the Cavaliers on top 36-33.

Gravley led Carroll County with 19 points, Horton scored 14 to go with 10 rebounds and Lundy tossed in 15 points.

Max Rodgers led all scorers with 27 points and grabbed a dozen rebounds for Grayson County. Cannaday totalled 14 points and Mikey Rodgers had 10 points and 11 boards.

 

Carroll County.........19  17  23  12––71

Grayson County......16  17  10  17––60

 

Carroll County (4-0)

Gravley 6 6-8 19, C.Smoot 3 2-4 8, Beamer 3 0-1 8, Lundy 5 4-6 15, Keith 0 1-2 1, Lineberry 1 0-1 2, W.Smoot 1 2-2 4, Horton 5 4-5 14. Totals 24 19-29 71.

Grayson County (3-1)

Frost 1 0-0 2, Cannaday 4 3-4 14, Rudy 1 0-0 2, Mk.Rodgers 4 2-4 10, Mx.Rodgers 9 7-7 27, Wyatt 1 0-1 2, Bedsaul 0 1-2 1, Anders 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 13-18 60.

 

Three-point field goals – Carroll County 4-14 (Beamer 2, Gravley, Lundy), Grayson County 5-17 (Cannaday 3, Mx.Rodgers 2). Rebounds – Carroll County 36 (Horton 10), Grayson County 46 (Mx.Rodgers 12, Mk.Rodgers 11). Team fouls – Carroll County 18, Grayson County 23. Fouled out – Frost, Cannaday. Technical fouls – none.

JV – Carroll County 58-32.