Mariah Dalton set a career-high by scoring her jersey number Tuesday in Carroll County’s 77-58 Three Rivers District win over Floyd County in Hillsville.
Constantly able to beat the Buffaloes’ defense up the court, Carter slashed and dashed her way to the hoop for layup after layup en route to 32 points. She scored 17 of the Cavaliers’ 39 points in the first half and added 15 more in the second half. The senior said there is no real secret to her success –outrunning her man to the basket. But still, she said she got plenty of help as the Cavaliers finished with 24 assists -10 of them coming from Danielle Gallimore.
“We like to get out on the fast break,” Carter said after the game. “My teammates try to get me the ball and they made some good passes.”
Carter, who has shouldered much of the scoring load this year after the graduation of Cavalier superstars Keely Lundy and Mattie Kennedy, made 13-of-21 (61.9 percent) of her shots from the floor. Just as important, she knocked down 6-of-7 from the charity stripe.
“The best thing she has done for us all year is she has made free throws. She is shooting 83 or 84 percent from the free throw line. If you are the kid that is shooting a lot and you are shooting more free throws than anybody else on your team and you are making them, you are going to have a lot of points,” Carroll County head coach Marc Motley said. “It is not always about the shots as much as it is just being aggressive. And our kids look for her because they’re confident in her putting the ball in the hole when they get on the fast break. She shoots it a lot but we want her to shoot it a lot. I mean, 21 shots and 32 points, we will take that anytime.”
After falling behind 4-0 to open the game, Carroll County (12-2, 7-0 Three Rivers District) took control of the game by outscoring Floyd (9-6, 4-2 Three Rivers District) 19-5 over the rest of the first quarter to build a 10-point lead. Carter then opened the second quarter with back-to-back layups to up the advantage to 14, which the Cavs extended to an 18-point cushion at the half.
Gallimore then opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 45-21 Carroll County. The Buffaloes were able to cut the big margin down to 11 in the fourth quarter, however, thanks in large part to 28 Cavalier turnovers.
“It’s a good win for us. They play with just tremendous effort,” Motley said of Floyd County. “You look at the scoreboard and as soon as we walked out of here my assistant coaches said, ‘You know, that is probably the hardest-fought 20-point win that we have ever been a part of.’ We felt like the entire fourth quarter it’s a two-point game. I mean they were playing with tremendous effort on their end. They were forcing us to do bad things and their effort was tremendous but we were fortunate enough to get enough shots to go in.”
Part of the reason the Cavaliers were able to win comfortably despite so many turnovers was because of its hot shooting. For the game, Carroll shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the floor compared to just 33.3 percent (19-of-57) for the Buffs.
“They tried to get man pressure and get help. They were trying to slow us up in the first half. The second half they tried to speed us up and we got into a battle of understanding, ‘Hey, they are in man, just get the heck out of the way and go by,’” Motley said. “And when we figured that out I thought we were okay. When Abi Easter put the ball in her hands, we were able to break pressure.”
Madi Dalton and Kenda Robinson also had big games for the Cavaliers. Dalton finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Robinson tossed in 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. With the win, Carroll County completed the season sweep of the Buffaloes and now has a comfortable lead in the Three Rivers District standings.
Floyd 9 12 22 15 – 58
Carroll 19 20 23 15 – 77
Floyd County – Kiser 3 0-0 7, Turman 2 0-0 5, Whitlow 3 2-4 9, Thompson 5 3-6 13, Altizer 1 0-0 2, Pratt 1 1-2 4, Belshan 4 9-12 18. 3-pointers – Kiser 1, Turman 1, Whitlow 1, Pratt 1, Belshan 1.
Carroll County – Easter 1 0-1 3, Dalton 5 4-6 14, Gallimore 2 0-0 6, Robinson 5 1-1 12, Alley 1 0-0 3, Carter 13 6-7 32, Kennedy 3 1-1 7. 3-pointers – Gallimore 2, Easter 1, Robinson 1, Alley 1.
Carroll Co. 60, James River 15
Carroll County limited James River to five points each in the first three quarters and none in the fourth en route to a 60-15 Three Rivers District blowout Jan. 22 in Buchanan.
Nine different Cavaliers scored in the romp, led by Mariah Carter’s 16 points and Abi Easter’s 10 points. Madi Dalton chipped in eight points and Danielle Gallimore had seven as Carroll County outscored James River 27-10 in the first half and 33-5 in the second half.
Carroll 14 13 24 9 – 60
J. River 5 5 5 0 – 15
Carroll County – Easter 4 0-0 10, Dalton 4 0-0 8, Caviness 3 0-0 6, Gallimore 3 0-0 7, Robinson 1 2-4 4, Carter 6 4-6 16, Kennedy 1 0-2 2, Shockley 1 2-2 5, Utt 1 0-3 2. 3-pointers – Easter 2, Gallimore 1, Shockley 1.
James River – Lak. Lucado 0 0-2 0, Brogan 1 0-6 2, Hix 0 1-2 1, Lac. Lucado 1 3-4 5, Montgomery 1 13 3, Davis 1 0-0 2, Stevens 0 2-2 2. 3-pointers – None.