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HILLSVILLE –– Included among the many thoughts racing through the head of Galax coach Verl Brown before the Maroon Tide’s season opener Wednesday night were his belief that his team would be only as good as its senior leadership. Another was the concern over how well his new kids would handle playing their first varsity game on the home floor of one of the Tide’s most heated rivals.
The seniors more than did their share. As for dealing with the supercharged atmosphere, that lasted all of six minutes and 20 seconds.
That’s how long it took Galax to build a double-digit lead as the Maroon Tide opened its season with a 73-49 nondistrict win over Carroll County.
“I had said that we would be only as good as our four seniors, but I was impressed with how well the young guys came out and played with this crowd and all the noise, and I thought they handled it pretty well,” Brown said. “I knew Cameron [Frazier] and Kyle [Adams] would be okay with their experience as starters, but I was impressed with Tyler [Houk] and Scott [Alouf], too, the way they all led.”
Frazier poured in 22 points and Alouf added 16 on the strength of four 3-pointers. Alouf knocked down a pair of bombs and Frazier added a third in the game’s first four minutes as Galax jumped out to an 11-4 lead. After two James Lanning free throws for the Cavaliers (0-2), Galax responded with a 10-2 run, and its lead never dipped below 10 points the rest of the night.
“They just have too many weapons,” said Carroll County coach Brad Hawks, who played his high school ball at Galax under Brown. “We played hard. I can’t fault the kids’ effort, but they just had too many ways to hurt us.”
“Carroll played hard, and I take my hat off to them,” Brown said. “Every game but Galax, I’m pulling for Brad. But this was a game my kids wanted, and they were ready to come out and meet the challenge.”
The Cavaliers didn’t help their cause at the free throw line, hitting just 13-of-31 for the night, and were just 16-for-62 from the floor.
“They didn’t hit well the night before [in a loss to Patrick County], but it being Carroll-Galax, I figured everything they shot was going to go in,” Brown said.
Galax led 21-10 when Frazier opened the second period with a 3-pointer and a layup off an Alouf steal. Carroll County’s Tyler Reavis converted a three-point play, but Deion George’s tip-in and another Alouf 3-pointer pushed the gap to 33-14 at 5:52 of the second.
George added another stickback, and Frazier scored on a driving layup to put Galax up by 20 points, 39-19. Frazier ended the half with a pair of foul shots, his 12th and 13th points of the period, to send the Tide to the break with a 47-22 lead.
The Cavaliers got a Lucas Marshall putback and a Reavis steal and layup early in the third period, but Galax answered with an 11-0 run highlighted by another Alouf trey and capped by George’s bucket.
Galax took its largest lead of the night, 69-34, on Bryan Martin’s inside bucket with 6:21 to play before Marcus Shupe came off the bench to drain three 3-pointers for the Cavaliers. Those nine points would lead all Carroll County scorers.
Justin Hash, whose emergence at point guard freed up Frazier for duty at shooting guard, added 10 points for the Maroon Tide, which shot 46 percent from the floor (29-for-63), including 7-for-23 from beyond the arc.
“I thought we played defense hard, Kyle was big on the boards and we got the ball out and ran the floor, things that we need to do to win,” Brown said.
In the JV game, Galax’s Travis Garvey hit two foul shots with seven seconds left for a two-point Galax lead, but Ryan Gravley drained a 3-pointer with one second remaining to lift Carroll County to a 31-30 win.
Galax 21 26 17 9––73
Carroll County 10 12 10 17––49
Hash 5 0-0 10, Frazier 9 2-2 22, Alouf 5 2-3 16, Martin 3 1-2 9, George 4 0-2 8, Anderson 0 2-2 2, Adams 2 0-1 4, Douglas 1 0-1 2, Harris 0 1-2 1. Totals 28 8-15 73.
Carroll County (0-2)
E.Marshall 0 0-2 0, Shupe 3 0-0 9, Reavis 3 1-1 8, Thompson 0 1-2 1, Jackson 3 1-2 7, Jones 3 1-6 7, Atwood 2 2-4 6, L.Marshall 2 1-4 5, Lanning 0 5-8 5, R.Marshall 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 13-31 49.
Three-point field goals – Galax 7-23 (Alouf 4, Frazier 2, Martin), Carroll County 4-16 (Shupe 3, Reavis). Rebounds – Galax 47 (Adams 8), Carroll County 44 (Lanning 6). Turnovers – Galax 18, Carroll County 19. Steals – Galax 9, Carroll County 7. Team fouls – Galax 23, Carroll County 18. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – George.
JV – Carroll County, 31-30.