The Cavaliers were bested by Bassett’s Bengals on Monday night 63-55 in the Conference 24 tourney opener at Carroll County High School.
Carroll came out in the first quarter with all cylinders firing as Garret Haynes scored two from a trip to the foul line to to tie the game at two with a little over a minute off the clock. Teammate Adam Horton and Haynes each added another basket to knot the score at six apiece after another offensive run by Bassett. Horton hit one from three-point distance at the 3:03 mark in the first, which brought the score up to 9-6 in favor of the Cavs.
Caden Hodges converted a nice pass from Micah Johnson into two more points after Bassett’s Cameron Gravely was one for two at the foul line. Hodges next connected for another two at the 2:15 mark to make the score 14-7. Micah Johnson hit one of two from the foul line with seconds to spare which brought the score up to 21-10 in favor of Carroll County.
In the second quarter, Micah Johnson went to the top of the key and hit pay dirt on both shots, making the score 23-14 in favor of Carroll at the 4:11 point. Horton came away with a point from the foul line moments later as the Cavaliers continued to put up the shots which began falling shy of the mark, allowing the Bengals to chip away at the lead. Bassett’s Bryce Varner hit the mark at from three-point distance at the buzzer to take a 27-26 lead over Carroll.
Bassett fired back in the third quarter, piling on 13 points to the Cavalier’s eight and adding 23 in the final stanza while the Cavaliers scored 21. Carroll County head coach Tee Jackson summarized the change of fortunes for his crew.
“We were getting pretty good looks. Most of them were paint shots or close to it and for whatever reason it was like there was a lid on it after the first quarter. Those were the shots we want and were making most of the year. We kind of picked a bad time for them not to go in,” said Jackson following the game.
The loss made Carroll’s overall record 9-14 for the season. Jackson was also straightforward about contributing factors for the Thursday performance.
“Adam (Horton) and Garret (Haynes) both had foul trouble. I don’t know if that played a big role. In the third quarter, toward the middle and the end, Garret got offensive fouls and Adam picked up about three in a two-minute span and those are our two leading scorers and our go-to on offense,” Jackson said. “With both of them on the bench, Bassett really locked it down on defense. It’s kind of a guessing game at when is the right time to put those guys back in with foul trouble. Really by the time we got Adam back in the game it was slipping away from us.”
Taking into account the 11-point lead piled on at one point by the Cavalier crew, Jackson also spoke directly and proudly about the things he saw from his team during the contest.
“We shot the ball well and executed really well on offense. Some of the shots we made weren’t necessarily the ones we wanted to get on offense but they were going in,” said Jackson. “I don’t know if once we got that lead we tightened up a little bit and the shots stopped falling. The half court shot (at the end of the first half) kind of demoralized the guys a bit. It was kind of we were at our best the first quarter and then the second quarter we were at our worst. It’s been like that this year. At times we have played really good halves against really good teams and not been able to finish. Thursday night against Patrick Henry we had a really good team and we put it all together. That’s kind of been the story all year.”
Jackson pointed out the squad will lose eight seniors at the season’s end and said there was a good probability of the new roster including around 10 sophomores who will be called upon to fill the graduates shoes next year.
“It’s going to be like starting over. As frustrating as tonight was they have still won more games together as a group this season with nine games won. I hope they can take some solace in that. It’s kind of a what could have been feeling,“ Jackson said.
Carroll: 21 5 8 21 -55
Bassett: 10 17 13 23 – 63
Carroll County – Horton 23, M. Johnson 11, Haynes 11, Hodges 6, L. Johnson 3, Marshall 1.
Bassett: Varner 20, Brown 15, Ziglar 13, Rivera 8, Martin 3, Barnes 2, Turner 1 Gravely 1.