The daughter of one of Carroll County’s most successful quarterbacks, Madi Dalton proved to be quite an accurate passer herself Thursday in the Cavaliers’ 61-43 victory at Floyd County.
Dalton, whose father Stephen was one of the top passers in CCHS history, sparked the Lady Cavalier offense Thursday, dishing out eight assists. More importantly, she assisted on Carroll County’s first four baskets, each finding Mariah Carter streaking to the basket for easy buckets and an 8-3 lead the Cavs would not relinquish.
“We told them going in they are going to press you. And if teams press you, you have to make them pay or they will press you all night long,” Carroll County head coach Marc Motley said. “Madi is a pretty aggressive player herself and she is going to make things happen, and more times than not it is going to be good. I thought tonight she made the right decision almost every single time the ball was in her hands. We were throwing the ball over that first layer and we were getting numbers, two-on-one, two-on-none, three-on-two, so you like your chances when you have more offensive players than they do defensive players down there.”
Carter finished with a game-high 26 points, Dalton had eight assists and Abigail Kennedy hauled in 11 rebounds. But this was more than just a three-woman show as the Cavaliers never trailed and got great effort from the entire team.
Carroll County (7-2, 2-0 Three Rivers District) found itself locked in a tight game, up 14-12 when Kennedy appeared to score and get fouled at the first-quarter buzzer. The horn never went off, however, and the trailing official did not see the clock. After talking to the scorekeeper, officials waved off the basket and foul. Motley said that seemed to light a little extra fire under the Cavaliers. Over the next two quarters, Carroll outscored the Buffaloes 38-21.
Danielle Gallimore knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter to increase the Cavaliers’ lead to 29-19. Later, the Cavaliers did beat the buzzer as Caroline Giles’ shot in the lane beat the horn, putting Carroll ahead 34-21 at the break. Motley’s team shot nearly 54 percent (22-of-41) from the field in the first three quarters as it built a 52-33 lead heading into the fourth.
“If you look at our shot chart in the first half, I think we had six shots outside the paint. The rest of them were from two feet. We have come down here for years, even last year we beat them by three here, and we got those same shots, but they speed you up so fast in the game that you have a tendency to miss the easy shot,” Motley said. “I think when we came out and Mariah hit the first four buckets everybody just got on her back and everybody started playing. Sometimes when you see the ball go in, the basket gets a lot bigger. And then Danielle got a little hot there in the second quarter I think, hit a couple of big threes to extend that lead and it gave you a little bit of breathing room. Those two seniors really stepped up and got us where we needed to be.”
Carroll and Floyd (6-5, 1-1 Three Rivers District) have traditionally been two of the strongest girls’ basketball programs in the region and have played some tremendous games over the years. This was the first district meeting between the two teams, however, adding even more significance to the rivalry.
“Darn right it does. I think last year is the first time we came down here in my tenure and beat them in the new gym. So we got two in a row in the new gym. We won a couple in the old gym before they built this one, but they were so strong there for such a long time and we never won in this new gym. Last year got the monkey off our back, but these kids right now are playing with tremendous effort and we are playing as a team, as a group,” Motley said. “The kids are getting along, they are sharing the basketball. They don’t care who scores.”
Just as important as Carroll’s offensive output, Motley was ecstatic over the defense the Cavs played on Michaela Thompson (#14) and Abi Belshan (#34). Motley said the duo came in averaging about 20 points per game each, and Carroll held Thompson to seven points and Belshan to five points.
“I can’t say enough about the job Madi and Laken (Alley) did on 34 and 14. I don’t know how many points they had after the third quarter but I didn’t feel like they had many,” Motley said. “Also my second unit actually extended our lead. Kenda (Robinson) did a tremendous job guarding 14. I was just elated with the way we played defensively against them and rebounded the basketball. I am hoping we are getting better every day. That is what we talk about in practice, getting better. I think what is making us better is I have 11 kids that compete every day in practice.”
Carroll 14 20 18 9 – 61
Floyd 12 9 12 10 – 43
Carroll County – Easter 0 1-2 1, Dalton 2 1-1 5, Caviness 1 0-1 2, Gallimore 4 1-2 12, Robinson 2 0-2 4, Alley 2 0-0 5, Giles 1 3-4 5, Carter 12 2-2 26, Utt 0 1-2 1. 3-pointers – Gallimore 3, Alley 1.
Floyd County – Kiser 6 3-4 19, Whitlow 1 0-2 2, Thompson 3 1-2 7, Spence 3 0-0 6, Harris 1 0-0 2, Pratt 1 0-0 2, Belshan 2 0-0 5. 3-pointers – Kiser 4, Belshan 1.
Carroll Co. 73, Glenvar 24
Danielle Gallimore led three Carroll County players in double figures Jan. 2 as the Cavaliers hammered Glenvar 73-24 in a Three Rivers District contest in Roanoke.
Gallimore led all scorers with 20 points for Carroll (6-2, 1-0 Three Rivers District) while teammate Madi Dalton chipped in 12 points and Mariah Carter tossed in 11. Amy Jo Caviness added nine points for the Lady Cavaliers and Abi Easter scored seven.
Carroll County did not allow more than nine points in a quarter and limited Glenvar (4-5, 0-1 Three Rivers District) to seven total points in the second half. The Cavs built leads of 44-17 at the half and 62-21 heading into the fourth quarter. Olivia Harris scored seven points to lead the way for the Highlanders.
Carroll 24 20 18 11 — 73
Glenvar 9 8 4 3 — 24
Carroll County – Gallimore 20, Dalton 12, Carter 11, Caviness 9, Easter 7, Robinson 4, Shockley 4, Alley 2, Giles 2, Kennedy 2. 3-pointers – Gallimore 3, Easter 1, Dalton 1, Caviness 1.
Glenvar – Harris 7, Dishon 5, King 4, Drew 3, Omberg 3, Moorman 1. 3-pointers – Drew 1.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN