With a 69-61 win over Woodgrove on Feb. 20., Carroll County’s girls earned a berth in the 4A State Tournament for the second straight season under head coach Marc Motley.
The first quarter was physical right from the opening moments of the 4A West Quarterfinal in Hillsville. Carroll trailed 15-14 at the end of the period. Both squads’ offensive efforts were putting up the shots only to have it roll around the rim.
“If you watched us play in the first quarter we got every shot we wanted. We couldn’t just get one in the hole. We struggled shooting the basketball,” said Motley. “You figure there’s a couple of things that are going to effect if you are going to win or lose. Turnovers are always one of those situations. Rebounds are one of those situations. I thought they hammered us on the boards in the first half. In the second half I thought we did a pretty good job on the boards. We didn’t give them very many second-chance points.”
Motley said the free throw line helped the Cavaliers in the outing as they repeatedly hit the mark from the top of the paint. He said sometimes those things negate the deficiences in shooting the basketball and other parts of the game. Motley stressed this did not indicate a conscious choice to go to the foul line as a strategy but was a consequence of agressive players.
“They are going to attack the basket whether they get the calls or not. They don’t change much. That is just our style,” Motley said. “They (Woodgrove) got into a lot of foul trouble tonight and that hurt them. They are so deep though and they don’t lose a lot when they go to the bench. Taking #12 out of the game doesn’t hurt them much.”
In the second quarter, the Cavalier gals scored 17 points while the Lady Wolverines added 14 to their column. The Cavaliers had 16 in the third and the Wolverine ladies scored 13. Fourth quarter fortunes smiled on the home team with Carroll netting 22 points while Woodgrove had 19.
Cavalier Mariah Carter’s scoring run in the fourth was noted by Motley. Her efforts here started at the 7:32 mark as she hit the mark for two, giving Carroll a 47-44 lead.
“She (Carter) came up big tonight. She was strong the other night against (William) Fleming. She does what she does. She’s aggressive and is playing the best basketball of the year right now, which is important for us,” said Motley. “I had her with 19, the most she’s had all year. She puts the ball in the hole for us. That’s what we want out of her. I told my kids in the lockerroom we got the shots we wanted all night long. We just made them for a three-minute stretch. We were able to make free throws from there on out and they did, too. We were able to make free throws down the stretch and keep our lead where it was. We didn’t do anything different. We pushed the basketball and Mariah Carter and Madi Dalton got loose a couple of times, and the ball went into the basket a few times where it didn’t earlier.””
Motley praised the calibre of the Woodgrove team, which he said plays against “a whole lot of talent,” playing almost everybody who is in the playoffs down the stretch.
“They are battle tested. I’ll give them that. They play hard. Well coached. Move the basketball. They play a good game of basketball. We didn’t take them lightly from a coaching standpoint. I knew they were going to be pretty tough. “
Carroll County (21-3) fell 52-35 on Feb. 22 in Northern Virginia at Loudoun County in the 4A West Semifinals. Despite the loss, the Cavaliers actually will host a home game this Friday, Feb. 24, against Charlottesville, 99-58 losers to Millbrook Feb. 22 in the other 4A West Semifinal. The Carroll-Charlottesville game will determine who will enter the 4A State Tournament as the West’s #3 seed and #4 seed. Game-time is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 24 in Hillsville.
Carroll Co. 14 17 16 22 – 69
Woodgrove 15 14 13 19 – 61
Woodgrove – Fagan 16, Forrester 14, Wick 9, Dunn 9, Kaur 6, White 4, Coates 3.
Carroll County – M. Kennedy 23, Carter 19, Holt 12, Dalton 8, Lundy 4, A. Kennedy 3.
Loudoun Co. 52, Carroll Co. 35
Carroll County nearly doubled Loudoun County on the glass, but had a hard time putting the ball in the basket Feb. 22 in a 52-35 loss in a Region 4A West Semifinal near Washington, D.C.
Despite a 21-2 record and a Conference 24 championship, the Cavaliers had to make the 280-mile, five-hour bus ride to Leesburg. And Carroll County’s offense suffered from a case of jet lag most of the contest. Emily Miller’s 3-pointer gave the Raiders an 8-0 lead with 3:14 left in the opening period. It took the Cavaliers more than half a quarter to finally get on the board. By the end of the opening period, Carroll found itself down 16-8.
The Lady Cavs outrebounded Loudoun by a whopping 39-20 margin, but had a hard time finding the mark, even on wide-open threes. Carroll battled back, however, and closed to within one point at 23-22 before Morgann Harden’s 3-pointer near the buzzer extended the Raiders’ lead to four.
Carroll trailed by 10 late in the third quarter before Keely Lundy hit a pair of late threes to pull the Cavs to within 35-31 heading into the fourth quarter. Loudoun owned the final period, however, outscoring Carroll 17-4 to pull away down the stretch with late free throws.
Natalie Villaflor led all scorers with 22 points and Emily Miller added 13. Lundy paced Carroll with 13 points. Madi Dalton scored eight and Mattie Kennedy added six points and 12 rebounds.
Carroll 8 14 9 4 – 35
Loudoun 16 10 9 17 – 52
Carroll County – Lundy 13, Dalton 8, M. Kennedy 6, A. Kennedy 3, Holt 2, Robinson 2, Carter 1.
Loudoun County – Villaflor 22, Miller 13, Harden 7, Ng 6, Allen 4.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.