With three games left in the season, the Carroll County junior varsity girls’ basketball team appears on track for another successful year under Coach Kayla Nester, but the young Lady Cavs’ 11th victory in 17 games overall was probably their toughest triumph yet.
Playing at home Thursday night against a rugged Alleghany team they had beaten by nine points in their earlier outing, the Cavs needed a lot of grit and determination at the end to overcome a lackluster offensive showing and prevail, 32-27.
The final five-point margin was Carroll’s largest lead in a game in which they trailed much of the way.
Missing many opportunities from inside and at the foul line against a team which put up a tight, stingy defense, Carroll found itself tied at 7-all after one quarter, trailing 14-10 at the half, and leading by only one point at 18-17 entering the final stanza.
Then, after nearly falling behind by six points with only three minutes left to play, the Cavs turned on the heat and the pressure to score eight straight points and grab the momentum. Trailing 24-20, Carroll got two clutch free throws from Emily Delp, a followup bucket underneath by Madison Stockner, a steal and layup basket by Kati Smith and another bucket by Stockner to go up 28-24 with only 34 seconds remaining. Although Alleghany made it close with the next three points, Ingrid Cupp nailed two important free throws to just about wrap it up and the Cavs scored once more on a pressure steal and fast break basket at the final horn.
Smith scored 10 points and Stockner 8 to lead the Cavs in scoring for the game.
Carroll, 11-6 overall and 7-2 in the District, has one home game remaining, Feb. 7 against James River.
In earlier games this season, Carroll defeated William Fleming 55-28, Glenvar 61-13, Floyd County 51-48, Giles 39-19, Blacksburg 38-29, Alleghany 42-33, Radford 35-33, and James River 58-15, but lost two straight, to Floyd County 34-31 and to Giles, 46-36.
Olivia Barnes, Delp, Smith, Cupp and Josie Quesenberry each took turns leading the Cavs in scoring in those earlier games with Barnes getting a season high of 20 points against Glenvar and Smith matching that total against Giles. Cupp had an outing of 18 points in the win against Floyd County.
Coach Nester cited the leadership of team captains Smith, Cupp and Laken Johnson as being keys to the team’s success and noted that the girls have improved greatly over the course of the season.
Next week: Junior varsity boys’ basketball roundup.
JV reporter Donald Trausneck can be reached at (276) 233-9385 or by e-mail at email@example.com