Carroll County jumped out to a 13-4 lead and then held on for an ugly 48-36 win Dec. 12 over Pulaski County in Hillsville.
While the Cavalier defense forced 28 turnovers and limited winless Pulaski (0-4) to 26.5 percent shooting (13-of-49), the Carroll County (4-3) offense never really got into a rhythm. In fact, the Cavaliers actually shot worse from the field than the Cougars at 22.8 percent (13-of-57).
“I felt like we came out ready. We put them down nine in the first quarter and then we relaxed. I feel like we relaxed in the second quarter and came out at halftime and I thought we relaxed a little bit more,” Carroll County head coach Marc Motley said. “It is tough to get the intensity back when you start to relax. In the fourth quarter we did just enough to hold on. We didn’t make many free throws. Hopefully we will learn from this and get better.”
Carroll County (6-3) never trailed, but led just 4-2 midway through the first quarter before a barrage of 3-pointers put the team in front 13-4 at the end of one. Taylor Martin’s triple made it 7-2 at the 3:15 mark. After Maegan Merritt’s offensive putback trimmed the Carroll lead to three, Crysta Guynn buried a pair of 3-pointers to close out the quarter for Carroll.
Guynn hit four 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 13 points to lead the Cavs, while Taylor Martin chipped in 12.
The Cavs extended the lead to 17-8 on a pair of Martin free throws. Guynn’s third 3-pointer made it 23-14, but Jordan Chrisley was fouled with five-tenths of a second left in the half, allowing Pulaski to crawl back to within seven points at the break.
“I just thought our intensity wasn’t good in the second and third quarters. And our defense had letdowns. They got some easy baskets because our defense let down,” Motley said. “I just felt like we relaxed rotating. Our press was working good up front, but if they ever broke that first layer we didn’t do a very good job of rotating back.”
After Rachel Sellers scored to open the third quarter, Hayden Caldwell pumped in Carroll’s next five points to increase the lead to 30-19 midway through the period. Guynn’s fourth successful shot from downtown late in the frame helped the Cavs go ahead 37-25 heading into the final quarter.
Carroll made just 1-of-13 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, but held on after making 9-of-17 free throws in the final eight minutes. While the Cavs made six 3-pointers, the team struggled from beyond the arch most of the night.
“We have a couple of kids that shoot in the mid to upper 30s (from 3-point range) and they were shooting them tonight. They just weren’t going in. I think sometimes it plays on you mentally and it just makes you miss the next one. The kids are worrying about the last one they shot instead of the next one they shoot,” Motley said. “I always tell them if you are open, shoot the basketball, I will tell you when to stop. And I never told them to stop shooting. They just weren’t going in. We are what we are and we can live and die by that sometimes. Fortunately we didn’t die by it tonight.”
Caldwell added seven points for the Cavaliers, while Merritt scored 15 points to lead Pulaski.
Pulaski 4 129 11 - 36
Carroll 13 10 13 11 - 48
Pulaski County – Hart 3 2-2 8, Chrisley 0 2-2 2, Mitchell 1 4-4 6, Golden 1 0-0 3, Merritt 7 1-2 15, Hancock 1 0-0 2. 3-pointers – Golden 1.
Carroll County – Alderman 1 1-2 3, Sheek 1 0-0 2, Caldwell 2 3-6 7, Martin 2 7-11 12, Haynes 0 2-4 2, Guynn 4 1-2 13, McCann 1 0-2 2, Farmer 1 0-0 3, Sellers 1 2-5 4. 3-pointers – Guynn 4, Farmer 1, Martin 1.
Carroll Co. 46, Galax 34
Rachel Sellers pumped in 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Friday to lead Carroll County to a 46-34 non-district win at Galax.
Carroll opened up a 13-0 lead before the Maroon Tide battled back to within a point at 21-20 at the half. The Lady Cavs regained control after the break, outscoring Galax (2-3) 25-14 in the second half to pull away for the 12-point win. Sellers scored 12 of her 18 after halftime.
Taylor Martin added nine points for the Cavs and Crysta Guynn scored six points on a pair of 3-pointers. Sydney Lyndsey led Galax with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Carroll 156 15 10 - 46
Galax 9 1186 - 34
Carroll County – Sellers 18, Martin 9, Guynn 6, Alderman 5, Hash 4, Caldwell 4, McCann 2. 3-pointers – Guynn 2, Alderman 1.
Galax – Lyndsey 13, Vaughan 8, Hanks 6, Ayers 4, Davis 3. 3-pointers – Hanks 2, Lyndsey 1, Davis 1.
Bassett 51, Carroll Co. 50
Tahira Scales’ pair of free throws with 11 seconds left lifted Bassett to a 51-50 win over visiting Carroll County on Dec. 10. The Cavaliers missed a shot in the lane in the final seconds as Bassett (5-1) held on to win the see-saw battle.
Carroll led 27-25 at the half and 40-37 after three quarters before the two teams traded the lead back and forth in the final frame. Simone Venable made three 3-pointers and led the Bengals with 15 points. Kaliya Barbour added 11 points and Scales also cracked double figures with 10 for Bassett.
Taylor Martin led the Cavaliers with 13 points, while Rachel Sellers chipped in eight and Hayden Caldwell scored six.
Carroll 11 16 13 10 - 50
Bassett 13 12 12 14 - 51
Carroll County – Martin 13, Sellers 8, Caldwell 6, Hash 5, McCann 5, Alderman 5, Guynn 4, Sheek 2, Haynes 2. 3-pointers - Martin 2, Guynn 1, Alderman 1, McCann 1.
Bassett – S. Venable 15, K. Barbour 11, Scales 10, A. Venable 6, A. Barbour 4, Turner 3, Martin 2. 3-pointers – S. Venable 3, Turner 1, A. Venable 1.