With sole possession of first place on the line in the River Ridge District, Patrick Henry made a statement Friday night in Hillsville with a 66-45 victory over Carroll County.
Both teams came into the game undefeated in the River Ridge District with Carroll County (11-3, 6-1 River Ridge) ranked third in the Timesland and Patrick Henry (11-3, 6-0 River Ridge) ranked fifth. But the Patriots proved to be too much as they forced 20 turnovers with their speed and athleticism and held Carroll County to 29 percent shooting (11-of-38) from the field. Meanwhile, PH made more than half of its field goal attempts (15-of-48).
“They are much more athletic we are. They took us out of everything we were trying to do,” Carroll County head coach Brad Hawks said. “Their defensive pressure just slowed us down. It was hard for us to get into our sets. They just outplayed us.”
The game started off well enough for the Cavaliers, who took a 4-0 lead after a Connor Lundy 3-pointer and a Duncan Reece free throw. Carroll actually held Patrick Henry scoreless for the first three-and-a-half minutes before Kendrick Tucker converted on a driving basket.
But it became clear early on Carroll would have a tough time getting off any shot inside the paint. Even those from the perimeter were contested as the Patriots played a suffocating man-to-man defense. Patrick Henry’s pressure simply overwhelmed Carroll’s guards, constantly forcing the Cavs to settle for tough shots. And PH’s Trey Terry held Carroll senior point guard Gunnar Beamer scoreless in the first half.
“He’s been playing really well, been able to get by people,” Hawks said. “He had trouble tonight. It was just a tough matchup for him. ”
Winston Giles gave Carroll its last lead at 7-4 on a 3-pointer following a Cody Keith steal. Patrick Henry countered with a 14-2 run, however, to go up 18-9 two minutes into the second quarter.
PH upped its lead to 25-12 midway through the second quarter before the Cavs answered to keep it within striking distance. Reece scored on a short jumper and Lundy hit another 3-pointer. Keith followed with a steal and layup to trim the Patrick Henry lead to 25-19. PH would extend the advantage to 28-21 heading into halftime.
Carroll kept it close until early in the third quarter. Beamer had to leave the game momentarily to have an ankle taped. Following a timeout, Christian Kirchman stole the inbounds pass and scored for a 35-24 lead. His basket sparked a 15-7 run to end the quarter. Kirchman, who finished with a game-high 20 points, capped the run with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to up the PH lead to 48-31.
Carroll didn’t help itself by missing 12 free throws, finishing 19-of-31 from the charity stripe. Still, Carroll managed to keep it a 15-point game until the Patriots scored three consecutive layups off steals in the final 75 seconds.
“We did some very, very uncharacteristic things. Turnovers were the big thing - way, way too many,” Hawks said. “How many layup chances did we give up? And free throw opportunities. They are a really good team. They just came to play and I don’t think we did tonight.”
Aside from Kirchman’s 20-point night, Kendrick Tucker added 16 points for the Patriots and Tyler Pollard was a force with 13 points inside. Lundy led the Cavs with 14 points, while Reece scored 10.
“We have a week off before we play at Blacksburg on Friday,” Hawks said. “We definitely need a few days to regroup.”
CC9..12..10..14 - 45
PH 12..16..20..18 - 66
Carroll County – Beamer 3 2-2 9, Lundy 3 6-9 14, Keith 2 1-4 5, Giles 2 1-2 6, Dalton 0 1-2 1, Reece 1 8-12 10. 3-pointers – Lundy 2, Beamer 1, Giles 1.
Patrick Henry – Pollard 5 3-6 13, Esworthy 2 0-1 5, Terry 2 5-6 9, Kirchman 8 0-0 20, Tucker 7 1-2 16, Stockstill 1 0-0 3. 3-pointers – Kirchman 4, Esworthy 1, Tucker 1, Stockstill 1.
Carroll 72, Cave Spring 60
Gunnar Beamer scored 20 points to lead three Cavaliers in double figures Jan. 14 in the Cavaliers’ 72-60 River Ridge District win over Cave Spring in Hillsville.
Beamer led all scorers with 20, while teammates Cody Keith and Connor Lundy pumped in 13 and 10 points, respectively. Carroll County jumped out to a 17-5 lead after the first quarter and led 40-23 at the half. The Cavaliers held on down the stretch to improve to 11-2 overall and 6-0 in the River Ridge District.
Cager Hicks scored 18 points to lead Cave Spring (6-7, 2-3 River Ridge). Brody Hicks added 16 points and Adam Sledd scored 10 for the Knights.
Winston Giles scored nine points for Carroll County, Blake Dalton added eight and Duncan Reece scored seven.
Cave Spring 5..18..18..19 - 60
Carroll Co. 17..23..13..19 - 72
Cave Spring – C. Hicks 18, B. Hicks 16, Sledd 10, Albritton 6, Foutz 5, Reger 3, Keister 2. 3-pointers – B. Hicks 4, Albritton 2.
Carroll County – Beamer 20, Keith 13, Lundy 10, Giles 9, Dalton 8, Reece 7, Johnson 3, Shinault 2. 3-pointers – Lundy 2, Johnson 1.