Wednesday’s Three Rivers District basketball game against James River wasn’t much different than any other for Carroll County’s Adam Horton.
As has been the case all season, the Cavalier senior faced double and triple teams almost every time he touched the ball. And, as is usually the case, Horton still managed to lead Carroll County with 28 points. What made this one different was the exclusive club the versatile guard/forward joined. With a 15-foot jumper from the free-throw line midway through the third quarter, Horton officially became one of Carroll County’s elite, scoring his 1,000th career point. The milestone puts Horton in the same group now as such Cavalier greats as Pat Sharp, Steve Dowdy, Terry Edwards, Ryan Gravley, Connor Lundy, and Horton’s head coach, Tee Jackson, CCHS’s all-time leading scorer.
“Going back to some of the real good teams (Carroll) had in the 80s, I don’t know that anybody has averaged as many points per game as he has this year. He has essentially scored 1,000 points in two years. He only had 69 points as a sophomore,” Jackson said after the game. “I have never seen a kid improve as much as he did from the 10th grade to this year. He is averaging about 25 points per game this year. He just fell in love with working.”
Horton’s milestone put a huge positive on an otherwise rough Senior Night for Carroll County (3-19, 2-10 Three Rivers District). After taking a 4-2 lead on free throws by Horton and Weston Burcham, the Cavs never led again as James River closed out the first half on a 31-10 run en route to a 63-46 victory. Down 14-9 after a quarter, Carroll made just 3-of-21 shots (14.3 percent) from the floor in the first half as the Knights widened their lead in the second period.
The Cavaliers fought back with a strong third quarter, outscoring James River (13-9, 6-6 Three Rivers District) 17-6 in the frame. After falling behind 36-17, Carroll answered with a 10-0 run, kick-started by a Horton layup and the jumper that put him over 1,000 career points. Jackson Hull and Ian Herman followed with back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 36-27 halfway through the period. Senior Gavin Westbrook, who finished with six points, added a basket inside and Horton scored on a steal and layup late in the period to make it just an eight-point game at 39-31 heading into the final stanza.
James River opened the fourth quarter on a 13-4 run, however, to take a 52-35 advantage it would not relinquish. The Knights drilled eight 3-pointers for the game and employed a successful inside-outside game with center Darious Cheatwood finishing with a team-high 18 points.
“That second quarter just killed us. It basically took us a half to wake up tonight. We probably won the second half. Third quarter we really defended, we rebounded and things looked like they were supposed to look. We just have such a small margin for error. You don’t play for a half. There is no coming back from it,” Jackson said. “We played hard second half and I was proud of them. The first half was pretty disappointing. They are well-coached. They have at all times five guys who can shoot the three and they handle the ball. They are a good team. They shoot the ball very well. I think they can go far in the postseason.”
With the loss, the Cavaliers were scheduled to travel to Glenvar on Friday (Feb. 9) for a Three Rivers District Tournament Quarterfinal. While it has been a long year for the young Cavaliers, Jackson is hopeful Horton’s leadership and work ethic will pay off for a Carroll team that will return all but two players next season (Horton and Westbrook).
“Adam is a good example for our kids. He is in the gym all the time. He goes to Roanoke for AAU, just a hard worker. He has worked 40 hours a week during the summer and still managed to be at everything,” Jackson said. “He is the focus of everybody’s game plan and I know it’s been hard. It’s kind of been a unique situation. But even with that, he is shooting 50 percent from the floor. It is not like it is taking him 30 shots to score 20 points. It has been hard for him, but he has hung in their tough for us this season.”
James River 14 19 6 24 – 63
Carroll Co. 9 5 17 15 – 46
James River – Colon 1 0-0 3, Clonch 2 0-0 5, Andrews 5 2-2 15, De. Cheatwood 0 2-2 2, Wagner 3 7-7 15, Simmons 1 1-2 3, Clark 1 0-2 2, Da. Cheatwood 8 1-1 18. 3-pointers – Andrews 3, Wagner 2, Colon 1, Clonch 1, Da. Cheatwood 1.
Carroll County – Herman 1 2-2 5, Hull1 0-0 3, Horton 9 9-11 28, Burcham 1 2-2 4, Marshall 0 0-1 0, Westbrook 3 0-0 6. 3-pointers – Herman 1, Horton 1, Hull 1.
James River 78, Carroll Co. 54
Darius Cheatwood led four players in double figures Feb. 6 as James River defeated Carroll County 78-54 in a Three Rivers District contest in Buchanan.
Cheatwood scored 23 points and River Clonch netted 13 more for the Knights. Jacob Wagner (12 points) and Walker Andrews (11 points) also cracked double figures for James River.
Adam Horton drilled four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 28 points to lead Carroll County. Jackson Hull made three 3-pointers and finished with 10 points for the Cavaliers.
Carroll 10 20 14 10 — 54
J. River 16 23 23 16 — 78
Carroll County – Horton 28, Hull 10, Herman 5, Johnson 5, Burcham 4, Motley 2. 3-pointers – Horton 4, Hull 3, Johnson 1, Herman 1.
James River – Cheatwood 23, Clonch 23, Wagner 12, Andrews 11, Colon 7, Clark 7, Simmons 5. 3-pointers – Clonch 2, Colon 1, Andrews 1, Simmons 1, Cheatwood 1.
Galax 50, Carroll Co. 31
Noah Hutchens scored a game-high 18 points to lead Galax to a 50-31 non-district victory over Carroll County on Feb. 5 in Galax.
Galax limited Carroll to nine points in the first quarter and did not allow more than 12 points in any period. Galax (9-10) scored the only two points in the fourth quarter. Adam Horton led Carroll County with 12 points.
Carroll 9 10 12 0 — 31
Galax 12 17 19 2 — 50
Carroll County – Horton 12, Herman 4, Hull 4, Burcham 4, Johnson 3, Motley 2, Phillips 2. 3-pointers – Johnson 1.
Galax – Hutchens 18, Ashworth 9, Pickett 8, Robinson 6, Cooke 5, Patton 2, Hawk 2. 3-pointers – None.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN