The game itself was a bit of a stinker with Carroll County walloping Alleghany 72-38. But Thursday night’s Three Rivers District contest in Hillsville was full of special moments as senior Mariah Carter scored her 1,000th career point and head coach Marc Motley earned his 300th coaching win at Carroll County.
Needing three points to become the seventh girl in school history to reach the 1,000 career points, Carter scored off an assist from Madi Dalton a little over a minute into the contest. With 5:08 left in the first quarter, she grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in to reach the special milestone. Carter would go on to score a game-high 23 points. After the game, a humble Coach Motley said it was only because of players like Carter that he reached his own personal milestone of 300 wins at CCHS (that record does not include three winning seasons as the boys’ coach at Grayson County).
“I don’t want to take away from what she did because she has put a lot of time and effort to get to where she is and all our kids have, regardless whether it is 1,000 points or 100 points. These kids put a lot of time and effort in and they are what’s making me get to 300 wins,” Motley said. “I have been just fortunate enough to have enough really, really good kids around here that we have got a lot of wins. You look at the talent I have been fortunate enough to coach, a lot of coaches would probably have 300 wins right now if they are in my spot and they are able to stay around long enough. I have been lucky enough to have been along for the ride.”
Including Carter, Motley has coached six of the seven Carroll County girls to score 1,000 career points. The only one he did not coach was former CCHS and Virginia Tech standout Erin Gibson. Ingrid Easter, who also scored 1,000 points, was a senior when Motley took over for Howard Mayo in 2002. Incredibly, last year’s Carroll County team had three players who would eventually score 1,000 career points – Carter, and Mattie Kennedy and Keely Lundy, the latter two now playing for Presbyterian College and Concord University, respectively.
“You have a Division I kid and you have a Division II kid and obviously they are option one and option two of most of the things that we do, and we run a lot of stuff around them. Mariah was kind of the third option in those situations and never one time complained, never thought she wasn’t getting her touches, any of that stuff,” Motley said. “She went out and did what she did. Those two kids graduate and I looked at Mariah and said, ‘Mariah, we need you to score some points.’ And you see a big old smile come on her face. But she just knows how to put the ball in the basket. You watch her play, what does she do that you would try to stop? She is a better athlete than most everybody she plays against and she can score from a lot of different angles. And she can make jump shots and she puts the ball on the floor.”
Amazingly, Carter came into Thursday night’s game averaging 19.4 points per game despite not playing the fourth quarter of 10 games this year due to the number of blowouts Carroll has won by this season. The Cavalier senior committed to play basketball at Roanoke College in December.
Thursday’s game was similar with Carroll County (16-2, 10-0 Three Rivers District) scoring the first 14 points of the contest. The Cavaliers built leads of 24-7 after the first quarter and 48-20 at the half. At that point, Carter had 16 points, nearly as many as Alleghany (9-10, 4-5 Three Rivers District). With so many blowouts, it is only natural to wonder how the level of competition faced in the regular season will affect Carroll in the playoffs.
“We talked about this and I guess it could be a problem, but you see us play Floyd the other night and they are not going to let you rest. They are going to play you full-court and we didn’t seem to breakdown,” Motley said. “I think the biggest thing is our bench contributes every single night, whether it is rebounding, scoring, playing defense, taking care of the basketball. Our bench really contributes. We have kids coming off the bench that could start most anywhere we play, would start for almost any program we have played this year.”
Aside from Carter’s big scoring night, Madi Dalton (11 points) and Danielle Gallimore (10 points) both cracked double digits. Abigail Kennedy and Amy Jo Caviness both netted six points as 11 different Cavaliers scored.
Alleghany 7 13 9 9 – 38
Carroll Co. 24 24 16 8 – 72
Alleghany – Nicely 2 0-0 4, Rooklin 3 0-0 9, Conner 1 0-0 2, Leitch1 0-0 3, 2 1-2 5, Davis 2 0-0 6, Ross 1 0-0 2, Wright 2 3-5 7. 3-pointers – Rooklin 3, Davis 2, Leitch 1.
Carroll County – Easter 1 0-1 2, Dalton 3 4-4 11, Caviness 2 1-2 6, Gallimore 4 0-0 10, Robinson 1 1-2 3, Alley 1 0-0 2, Giles 2 0-0 4, Carter 9 5-7 23, Kennedy 3 0-1 6, Shockley 1 0-0 3, Utt 1 0-1 2. 3-pointers – Galimore 2, Dalton 1, Caviness 1, Shockley 1.
Carroll Co. 69, Giles 35
Mariah Carter scored a game-high 22 points as Carroll County cruised to a 69-35 Three Rivers District victory Jan. 30 over Giles in Pearisburg.
Amy Jo Caviness added 10 points for the Lady Cavaliers and Danielle Gallimore and Madi Dalton both scored nine points. Abi Easter and Abigail Kennedy each chipped in six points in the win for Carroll. The Cavaliers raced out to a 47-18 halftime lead and never looked back.
Jocelyn Midkiff scored 11 points to lead Giles (10-7, 2-6 Three Rivers District) and Layla Maldonado added 10 points for the Spartans.
Carroll 27 20 13 9 – 69
Giles 11 7 12 5 – 35
Carroll County – Carter 22, Caviness 10, Gallimore 9, Dalton 9, Easter 6, Kennedy 6, Robinson 4, Utt 3. 3-pointers – Gallimore 3, Easter 1.
Giles – Midkiff 11, Maldonado 10, Hill 5, Mitchum 4, Bailey 2, Vangelos 2, Merrix 1. 3-pointers – None.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN