When your defense nearly forces as many turnovers as points allowed, chances are you team is headed toward a comfortable victory. That was certainly the case for Carroll County’s girls’ basketball team Dec. 11 as the Lady Cavaliers forced 24 turnovers in a 60-29 home win over Patrick County.
The Cavaliers found themselves in a tight game after eight minutes, leading just 12-9 after the first quarter. Carroll County (2-1) blew the doors off after that thanks to a defense that limited the Cougars to 5-of-30 (16.7 percent) shooting from the floor in the final three quarters. The Cavaliers outscored Patrick 32-12 in the second and third quarters to turn a three-point game into a blowout heading into the final period.
“They had 15 points at halftime and they didn’t get 15 in the second half. Defensively we didn’t give them any good looks,” Carroll County head coach Marc Motley said. “We had a couple of silly turnovers that led to open shots, but other than that we gave them nothing in their set offense. That is just a testament to what we are becoming defensively. We are by no means where I want us to be, but we are getting there.”
Senior guard Megan Alderman was a big part of Carroll’s suffocating ‘D’. For the second time this season, she shut down Patrick’s Bri Dodson, limiting her to two points. Alderman held Dodson scoreless in a 62-37 Carroll victory Dec. 4 in Stuart.
“We put Megan Alderman on what we felt like was their best player and she had two points in two games. She had two points tonight on a loose ball layup and she got no points at Patrick,” Motley said. “She had 18 against Chatham and she has led them in scoring a couple of times this year so that’s just a testament of how I feel we are playing on the perimeter with our defensive people. Our post players are doing a good job cutting off driving lanes and then are able to recover.”
Offensively, the Cavaliers got an extremely balanced performance with Keely Lundy, Mattie Kennedy and Rylee Haynes all scoring 10 points. Alderman and Crysta Guynn both tossed in nine for the Cavaliers, who canned 11 3-pointers on the night. Lundy and Alderman both drilled three long bombs, while Kennedy and Haynes each connected twice from downtown.
“We want to get in the paint and find shooters, and we did that pretty much all night long. Our kids attack, we basically play four guards, and fortunately they have good size so they can see over top and they can also handle the ball and make plays,” Motley said. “If you don’t guard us on the perimeter we are going to have open looks, and I feel like every kid I put out there can shoot it.”
The Cavaliers broke the game open with an 8-0 run to start the second quarter. Sami Reece ignited the run, scoring on an old-fashioned three-point play in the post. Alderman later drilled a deep 3-pointer and Kennedy’s driving layup with 5:05 left in the half extended the Cavalier lead to 20-9.
Patrick clawed back to within 21-13 before Carroll went on another 8-0 run. Kennedy added another driving basket and a pair of free throws, while Guynn and Carlie McMillian each drained a pair from the charity stripe during the stretch. The Cougars added a late basket before the half, but still trailed 29-15 at intermission.
“We stretched our margin in the second quarter and we were very, very efficient I thought offensively,” Motley said. “We took open shots but we were also aggressive going to the basket.”
Carroll continued to pull away in the third quarter as Lundy opened the half with a 3-pointer. Back-to-back treys by Lundy and Alderman upped the advantage to 41-19 late in the third quarter, effectively icing the game. Alderman then added one last dagger, knocking down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Cavs up 44-21 heading into the final period.
“I was pleased with our offensive balance tonight,” Motley said. “We had three players score 10 points and two score nine points.”
Patrick 9668 - 29
Carroll 12 17 15 16 - 60
Patrick County – Radford 1 0-0 2, Shough 0 3-6 3, Gammons 0 1-4 1, Witt 0 1-5 1, Hines 0 0-2 0, Dodson 1 0-0 2, Mitchell 2 0-0 5, Wilkinson 2 0-0 4, Williams 1 0-0 2, Owens 2 0-2 4, Thomas 0 5-6 5. 3-pointers – Mitchell 1.
Carroll County – Alderman 3 0-0 9, Lundy 3 1-2 10, Kennedy 2 4-6 10, Haynes 2 4-6 10, Guynn 2 4-4 9, McMillian 2 1-2 5, Turman 1 0-0 2, Reece 2 1-1 5. 3-pointers – Alderman 3, Lundy 3, Kennedy 2, Haynes 2, Guynn 1.