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HILLSVILLE –– In winning its first 10 games as a member of the River Ridge District, Carroll County has been able to overcome a cold shooting night every now and then. The Cavaliers have not yet had to do so against an equal opponent.
Carroll County went stone cold to start the second half Thursday just as Hidden Valley began to feel the hot hand, and the Titans dealt the Cavaliers their first league loss of the season, 57-46. Both teams exited the floor with 15-3 overall records, 10-1 in the district, with each’s RRD loss coming to the other. It was Hidden Valley’s 11th straight win since losing to Carroll, while the Cavaliers saw the end of their own nine-game streak.
Carroll County, which snuck out with a 40-39 win a month ago at Hidden Valley, trailed 22-18 at the half but went more than 10 minutes without a field goal to start the second half, missing its first 12 attempts from the floor, including an 0-for-10 funk in the third quarter. Only four free throws separated the Cavaliers from a goose egg in the period as Hidden Valley pulled out to a 17-point lead.
A pair of short-range baskets by the Titans’ Senia Garay to open the third period had Carroll behind 26-18. The Cavaliers got single free throws on consecutive trips down the floor but Hidden Valley scored the next 11 points. Lindsay Stuart knocked down a 3-pointer off a kick-out and Drew Freeland scored twice from close range to widen the Titan lead to 37-20.
Mattie Kennedy and Rylee Haynes each hit two free throws for the Cavaliers, who finally got their initial field goal of the second half in the form of a Haynes runner with 5:30 left in the game.
The Cavaliers caught fire from that point and would connect on eight of their final 13 shots. Kennedy completed a three-point play and Haley Turman scored from the inside to complete a 9-2 Cavalier run that trimmed the margin to 45-35 with 2:38 remaining.
Hidden Valley wouldn’t cool off, though, shooting 54 percent after halftime (13-of-23) and never letting its lead dwindle into single digits the rest of the way. Freeland scored six points in the final 1:35 and finished with game-highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds.
The two teams traded the lead five times en route to a 14-10 Titan lead after eight minutes. The Cavaliers missed their first seven floor attempts of the second quarter and went scoreless in the period until Keely Lundy’s 3-pointer 3:13 before the half. That started an 8-2 run to close the half, with Lundy’s jumper from the foul line cutting the gap to four, but the Cavaliers would go just 1-of-14 from behind the arc the rest of the way.
Kennedy led Carroll County with 14 points and eight rebounds while Guynn had two of the Cavaliers’ three 3-pointers and scored 11. Garay and Hailey Singleton each scored a dozen for the Titans.
Hidden Valley........14 8 15 20––57
Carroll County......10 8 4 24––46
Hidden Valley (15-3, 10-1)
Singleton 4 4-6 12, Freeland 8 8-12 26, Garay 4 4-4 12, Stuart 1 0-0 3, Dooley 1 0-1 2, Parker 1 0-0 2, Yancey 0 0-2 0. Totals 19 16-25 57.
Carroll County (15-3, 10-1)
Lundy 3 2-4 9, Kennedy 3 8-12 14, Haynes 1 3-4 5, Guynn 4 1-1 11, McMillian 1 1-2 3, Turman 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 15-23 46.
Three-point field goals – Hidden Valley 3-9 (Freeland 2, Dooley), Carroll County 3-25 (Guynn 2, Lundy). Rebounds – Hidden Valley 37 (Freeland 11), Carroll County 38 (Kennedy 8). Turnovers – Hidden Valley 16, Carroll County 18. Team fouls – Hidden Valley 17, Carroll County 19. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none.
JV – Carroll County, 55-43.