A strong start and an even stronger finish helped Carroll County defeat Galax 40-29 Saturday in non-district boys’ basketball action in Hillsville.
The Cavaliers limited Galax (3-7) to four points in the first quarter and nine in the first half to lead 20-9 at the break. More importantly, when the Maroon Tide rallied to make it 31-29 early in the fourth quarter, Carroll County (4-9, 0-5 River Ridge District) finished the game on a 9-0 run to beat Galax for the second time in a week. Carroll also defeated the Tide 45-39 in Galax on Jan. 11
“The guys really stuck to the game plan today, more today than Monday,” said Carroll County head coach Brad Hawks. “They guarded who needed to be guarded, especially on the perimeter. We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds in the first half but gave up just four in the second half. I thought we made an adjustment at halftime that worked out real well for us.”
Adam Horton and Garret Haynes each scored four points in the first quarter as the Cavaliers led 9-4 after eight minutes. After DeAngeloa Ravenell scored on the Maroon Tide’s first shot attempt, Galax was held scoreless over the next six minutes. Galax missed seven straight shots and turned the ball over twice during that span.
Carroll extended the lead to 15-4 early in the second as Forrest Johnson scored and Jordan Combs made 2-of-3 free throws before adding a bucket in the paint. The Tide turned the ball over seven times in the first half and shot just 20 percent (4-of-20) from the field as the Cavaliers led 20-9 at the break.
“We wanted to make them shoot long-range contested threes and hurry them up just a little offensively. We really did that, especially our 2-3 looked good. We were guarding the middle and that is something that they hurt us on Monday,” Hawks said. “We did a really good job of packing it in and making them beat us outside. The kids just kind of bought into what we want to do now.”
With his brother – point guard Micah Johnson – out at least three weeks with an ankle injury, Noah Johnson played a huge role in the Cavaliers’ victory. He dished out seven assists and committed just two turnovers despite being Carroll’s lone ball-handler most of the game.
“Noah has really stepped up the last three games. We are just asking an awful lot of him,” Hawks said. “I know it is wearing him out but it is kind of what you do, you rally around a teammate that is hurt and do the best that you can. He played extremely well tonight.”
Galax finally got some offense going in the third quarter and cut Carroll’s lead to 26-21 late in the period. Adam Horton helped stem the tide by taking a pass in the corner from Noah Johnson and converting a 3-point play with 2.1 seconds left for a 29-21 advantage heading into the fourth.
“I thought Adam Horton played real well as a sophomore coming in and getting a start for Micah,” Hawks said. “He had 12 points and that’s big for us.”
Galax was not done, however. Ravenell’s steal and layup to start the period ignited an 8-2 Maroon Tide run. Isaiah Brown scored on an offensive putback before Jacob Brown and Ravenell both added layups following Carroll turnovers. That quick explosion of offense brought Galax back to within two points at 31-29 with 6:05 to play.
Galax would miss its final seven shot attempts of the game, however. Meanwhile, Horton helped the Cavalier offense get back on track with a reverse layup that made it 33-29 with 5:05 reamaining. Jordan Combs, who led all scorers with 15 points, finished the game off for Carroll by netting the final seven points. His scored on a driving basket with 4:15 left to make it 35-29. Then after a Galax misfire, Carroll ran a minute off the clock before Combs put the game away with an old-fashioned three-point play.
“The spread offense is something that (assistant coach) Tee (Jackson) put in last week and the guys are getting better at it, using a little time without necessarily dribbling the air out the ball,” Hawks said. “The kids have kind of bought in and when you are executing and running things right, good things will happen. Jordan got an and-one on that play and Adam got a layup out of it, which were both big for us.”
Garret Haynes added six points for the Cavaliers, who completed the sweep of Galax this year after splitting the season series with the Maroon Tide the two previous campaigns.
“It was definitely the biggest crowd of the year and it was good to get a win in front of a huge crowd like that,” Hawks said.
Galax 4 5 12 8 – 29
Carroll 9 11 9 11 – 40
Galax – Ravenell 4 0-0 8, J. Brown 2 2-4 6, I. Brown 2 0-2 5, Peoples 1 0-0 2, Merdian 2 0-0 4, Orton 0 2-2 2, C. Brown 0 0-2 0, Chapman 1 0-0 2. 3-pointers – I. Brown 1.
Carroll County – N. Johnson 1 0-0 2, F. Johnson 1 0-0 2, Horton 5 2-3 12, Hodges 1 1-2 3, Haynes 3 0-0 6, Combs 6 3-4 15. 3-pointers – none.
Blacksburg 73, Carroll County 56
Grant Johnson scored 20 points and collected 10 rebounds Friday as Blacksburg defeated visiting Carroll County 73-56 in a River Ridge district game.
Antonio Houston added 16 points and Hank Skutt nailed four 3-pointers and scored 14 points for Blacksburg (4-9, 2-4 River Ridge District). Jordan Combs (11 points) and Noah Johnson (10 points) both scored in double digits for the Cavaliers, while Caden Hodges and Garret Haynes each added nine points.
Carroll Co. 12 16 19 9 — 56
Blacksburg 21 13 25 14 — 73
Carroll County – Combs 11, N. Johnson 10, Hodges 9, Haynes 9, Horton 6, Williams 6, F, Johnson 3, Robinson 2. 3-pointers – N. Johnson 1, F. Johnson 1.
Blacksburg – Johnston 20, Houston 16, Skutt 14, Cianelli 6, Terry 5, VanGilver 4, Verbrugge 4, Hudson 2, Price 1, Hale 1. 3-pointers – Skutt 4, Houston 2, Terry 1.
Pulaski Co. 60, Carroll Co.50
Carroll County’s Garret Haynes scored a career-high 23 points Jan. 13 but it was not enough as Pulaski County held on for a 60-50 River Ridge District win in Hillsville.
C.C. Grubb paced the Cougars with 18 points and Miguel Garcia added 16 points for Pulaski County (9-4, 3-2 River Ridge District). Isaac Poe also cracked double digits with 13 points for the Cougars.
Jordan Combs connected on a pair of 3-pointers and scored nine points for the Cavaliers. Adam Horton added eight points and Noah Johnson chipped in six points for Carroll.
Pulaski 15 14 18 13 — 60
Carroll 8 15 14 13 — 50
Pulaski County – Grubb 18, Garcia 16, Poe 13, Blevins 6, Roberson 3, Robertson 2, Spencer 2. 3-pointers – Poe 3, Grubb 2, Roberson 1.
Carroll County – Haynes 23, Combs 9, Horton 8, N. Johnson 6, Hodges 4. 3-pointers – Combs 2.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on [email protected]