Not satisfied with simply winning a game for the first time this season, the Carroll County junior varsity boys’ basketball team actually produced a modest winning streak after returning from the holiday break.
The young Cavaliers defeated Grayson County 48-46 on January 6 and followed that up with a 57-56 victory over Giles County three nights later. It could have been a three-game winning streak but the game played before Grayson resulted in a hard-fought 46-41 setback at Floyd. The Cavs followed it up Friday with a 40-36 home win over Galax.
“The boys are showing a lot of improvement,” said Carroll jayvee coach Russell Smoot. “They’re learning their skills well. Everyone understands their roles. They are scoring a lot better and showing great poise and pressure on defense. Jonah Johnson was a dominant factor against Galax.”
Smoot noted that no one player deserves credit for the improvement. He did say, however, that Jonah Johnson has stepped up to be a leader for the team and they look to Austin Beamer as the main scoring threat. Chase Sewell and Jeremy Rowlett also have come up big.
In an earlier game at Grayson County, the young Cavs lost by 10 points but the January 6th rematch was a different story. Carroll led 13-6 after one quarter and 25-24 at the half. Falling behind by three points as the third quarter ended, Carroll rallied for the victory. Beamer and Sewell led the way with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Then, at Giles, Carroll trailed 28-23 at halftime but poured it on in the second half to produce win number two. A three-pointer by Rowlett late in the contest was a highlight of the comeback while Sewell scored seven of his team-high 13 points in the final period. Rowlett added 12 points to the balanced Cavalier attack while Beamer scored nine, Johnson seven and Brady Dalton six.
Alleghany ended Carroll’s winning streak with a hard-fought 70-59 win last Thursday but that, too, was closer than the score indicates as it could have gone either way. Carroll got off to a slow start and fell behind early as the first quarter ended 18-8 in favor of the visitors. Employing impressive pressure, the Cavs fought back to within 18-15. Alleghany again pulled away with some clutch steals and treys. It was a case of Carroll’s successful aggressive defense against a hot shooting night by Alleghany. In the second half, Carroll again pulled within 50-49, highlighted by a trey from Johnson, but the guests outscored the Cavs 20-10 down the stretch.
In earlier action, Carroll had lost to Fort Chiswell 49-24, George Wythe 56-29, and Glenvar, 39-28.
The Fort proved much too strong for the Cavs, breaking out to leads of 18-3 and 24-6 and Carroll never could get things going despite a team high of 11 points by Johnson.
Against George Wythe and Glenvar, it was a story of balanced scoring by the Cavs but just not enough of it.
Then, in the close loss at Floyd County, Carroll bounced back from an early 13-4 deficit but just could not pull it out. Xavier Flippen with eight points and Sewell with seven led the Cavs.
Next home game for the Carroll jayvees is scheduled for January 19 against Glenvar.
CORRECTION: Another member of the junior varsity team is Will Newman. He was incorrectly identified as Will Housman in an earlier report.
JV reporter Donald Trausneck can be reached at (276) 233-9385 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org