Carroll County led early and was down just five with three minutes to play, but Patrick Henry scored the final six points Jan. 19 to win 66-55 in a physical game in Hillsville.
The Cavaliers played well early and led 6A Patrick Henry (9-4, 5-2 River Ridge District) 28-25 at the half. The Patriots opened the third quarter on an 18-10 run, however, and led 45-41 heading into the fourth quarter.
Carroll County (4-10, 0-6 River Ridge) trailed 60-54 with 2:57 to play when both teams were hit with a technical foul after an altercation between Patrick Henry’s 6-6 forward Dominique Joyce and the Cavaliers’ Forrest Johnson.
After a Carroll turnover, the Cavs trapped Joyce in the corner. Instead of falling out of bounds, Joyce swung his elbow and threw the ball off Johnson’s head. Tempers flared from that point, with Joyce grabbing Johnson around the neck and Johnson standing his ground and pushing back at Joyce. Fortunately, the refs intervened and got things under control before things could explode into something more.
“That wasn’t the first cheapshot, but it was the first one caught. Noah Johnson was spitting up blood most of the game after catching an elbow to the face early on,” Carroll County head coach Brad Hawks said. “Derek Case had a knot on his head from taking an elbow, too.”
Joyce missed both technical free throws, while Noah Johnson made 1-of-2 for Carroll, cutting the deficit to 60-55. Turnovers continued to be a problem, however, and the Patriots finished the game on a 6-0 run to win by 11 in what was otherwise a highly competitive effort from the Cavaliers.
“The fight definitely was in our guys. All we can do is ask them to play hard. We just have to learn to finish,” Hawks said. “Our free throw shooting is awful. We are shooting about 59 percent for the year. Turnovers and free throw shooting have been our Achilles Heel al year.”
Jordan Combs and Garret Haynes both had big games for Carroll with Combs scoring 16 and Haynes adding 14. Haynes was plagued by foul trouble, however, fouling out after playing a majority of the second half with four fouls.
“We wanted to attack the basket on them and we had some shots fall early. Garrett and Jordan were able to score at will early,” Hawks said. “Garrett played with four fouls the second half and that hurt a ton. That is when they went on their run. We had 24 turnovers and they turned the heat up. It was still a close game and we just went brain-dead offensively and started throwing up some ill-advised shots at the end. But I thought our kids did a heck of job. I have to commend our guys for showing class and refraining from getting into anything major (when tempers flared). Things didn’t go our way, but at least we showed class down the stretch. You can win with class and lose with class and I feel like our guys have done both this year.”
Patrick Henry 14 11 20 21 – 66
Carroll County 12 16 13 14 – 55
Patrick Henry – Manns 1 0-0 3, Harris 8 5-6 22, Logan 1 0-0 3, Calfee 0 2-4 2, Robinson 3 2-2 10, Joyce 4 5-10 13, Anderson 1 1-2 3, Mason 1 0-0 3, Woody 1 1-4 3, Peterson 1 1-2 4. 3-pointers – Robinson 2, Manns, Harris, Logan, Mason, Peterson.
Carroll County – N. Johnson 3 3-4 9, F.Johnson 2 0-0 5, Horton 0 2-4 2, Hodges 3 3-8 9, Haynes 5 4-6 14, Combs 6 4-6 16. 3-pointers – F. Johnson 1.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN