After a terrific initial season in the River Ridge District and a playoff run to the Conference 24 championship game and the Group 4-A North Regionals, Carroll County’s basketball team is well-represented in the postseason awards.
Seniors Gunnar Beamer and Connor Lundy both were voted to the All-Conference 24 First Team, while fellow senior Cody Keith was selected as an honorable mention. Beamer also was tabbed as a second-team All-Group 4-A North pick, while Lundy was voted as an honorable mention to the all-region team.
Coming off the heels of a school-record tying 24 wins in 2013, Carroll County lost seven seniors from last year’s Region IV, Division IV championship team, including three that are now playing college basketball and two others currently playing college football.
But with seven players back from a year ago, the Cavaliers still made a huge splash in the River Ridge District, finishing second only to Conference 3 champion Patrick Henry, a 6-A school. The Cavs finished the season 18-7 overall and 10-3 in the River Ridge, knocking off Pulaski County and E.C. Glass in the Conference 24 playoffs to reach the conference title game and earn a trip to the 4-A North Regional Tournament. Putting two guys on the All-Conference 24 team is a major accomplishment for the Cavaliers, Carroll County head coach Brad Hawks said.
“When you think about William Fleming, E.C. Glass, G.W. Danville and those schools, to have two guys represent the first team, that is big for Carroll County,” Hawks said. “I think it is a huge deal to have two first teamers.”
Despite missing time early in the season with injuries, Beamer went on to lead the Cavaliers with 4 assists per game as the starting point guard. He also finished third on the team with 10.9 points per game and shot a blistering 43 percent (16 of 37) from 3-point range and 74 percent (72 of 97) from the foul line. Beamer also was tied for fourth on the team with 1.3 steals per contest and hit the game-winning buzzer beater against Radford in the championship game of the Fort Chiswell Christmas Tournament.
“He was plagued with injuries at the start of the year, but after he got back he came into his own. He was a floor leader for us and came up real big down the stretch,” Hawks said. “Toward the end of the year when he was injury free, Connor was facing opponents’ best defender and Gunnar was able to beat his man to the middle and come up big for us.”
As a senior, Lundy led the Cavaliers with a team-high 16.7 points per game. He was also second on the team with 5.4 rebounds and 3 assists per contest. His 1.3 steals per game were fourth-highest for Carroll, and he shot 48 percent (138 of 288) from the field, 40 percent (49 of 123) from 3-point range and 72 percent (76 of 106) from the charity stripe.
With the victory over E.C. Glass, Lundy also set a school record with 76 wins as a player, breaking Steve Dowdy’s mark of 75 wins set in 1981.
“I think Connor definitely stepped up and providing scoring this year. He was a scoring threat all year long and the majority of the time he faced the other team’s best defender,” Hawks said. “He had a great year. There were a couple of games I thought he really put the team on his shoulders.”
Another senior, Keith served as the motor of the team. Always playing at 100 miles per hour, the forward led the team with 6.5 rebounds per game and was second with 11.8 points and 1.5 steals. Keith shot an insanely-high 70 percent from the field, making 120 of his 171 shot attempts, many of which came thanks to his team-high 58 offensive rebounds. He was also second on the squad with 9 blocks.
“Cody was our energy guy,” Hawks said. “He always gave us a burst of energy. It was a different game when he wasn’t in the lineup.”
Jamarcus Hairston (GW-Danville), Warren Craft (William Fleming), Troy Mann (Salem), Gunnar Beamer (Carroll County), Steve Jones (WF), O’shea Mayo (E.C. Glass), Tomario Rogers (GW), Connor Lundy (CC).
Tyler Lucy (Jefferson Forest), Alex Light (Salem), Lonnie Mattox (Pulaski Co.), Tyqion Stokes (ECG), Tyrelle Adams (WF), Devonte Wimbush (Bassett), Xavier Crews (GW), Kawante Cobbs (GW).
Tyler Cooper (JF), Travis Coger (B), Shawn Brown (ECG), Cody Keith (CC), Montrez Bateman (ECG), Cameron Merchant (PC).
Player of the Year: Jamarcus Hairston, GW-Danville.
Coach of the Year: Ron Parsons, GW-Danville.