Jordon Combs’ 15-foot jumper with two seconds left lifted Carroll County to a monumental 47-45 River Ridge District road win Thursday at Patrick Henry.
The Cavaliers had not beaten the 6A Roanoke school since joining the River Ridge District three years ago, the only district team Carroll County (8-14, 3-11 River Ridge) had not beaten in boys’ hoops. Leading 37-31 heading into the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers hung tightly to that lead until the Patriots tied the score at 45 on a Dom Joyce 3-pointer with about 15 seconds left.
Carroll inbounded the ball and called timeout with 10 seconds left to set up a final play.
“We started the play at 10 seconds and wanted to isolate Jordon on the block,” Carroll County head coach Brad Hawks said. “He caught it a little further out, but he made a good move and knocked down a 15-footer. There wasn’t enough time for them to call a timeout after he made that shot and we held on for the win, which was a big one for us.”
One night after scoring 31 points, including 25 in the second half in a win over Blacksburg, Combs came up big again in the season finale. The senior center scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds at Patrick Henry (14-7, 9-5 River Ridge)
“He has really come along. He is playing inside out, mixing it up inside and also stepping out,” Hawks said. “He hit two 3-pointers last night that came at big times.”
Forrest Johnson hit three 3-pointers and finished with nine points, while Garret Haynes added six points for the Cavaliers. The first time the two teams played, Carroll did not have the services of injured point guard Micah Johnson in a 66-55 loss to Patrick Henry on Jan. 19 in Hillsville.
“We had Micah this time and that made a big difference. We controlled the tempo and packed it in with a 2-3 zone and made them beat us from outside,” Hawks said. “The kids followed the game plan pretty well and dictated the tempo of the game. That was our strength last night. They went to a 2-3 zone also to give us a different look. That hurt us at times, but I thought our big guys passed the ball well down the stretch. Garret and Jordon had their ways in the second half. Forrest Johnson is shooting lights out for us right now. He has really come along, rebounding and guarding the one of the other team’s best players most every night. He’s shooting the ball with a lot more confidence and this is a good time for us to be peaking.”
Indeed. After losing its first nine River Ridge District games, the Cavaliers have now won two in a row and three of their last five. Carroll was set to travel to Salem on Feb. 15 for a Conference 24 Quarterfinal against the Spartans.
Carroll 10 10 17 10 — 47
P. Henry 17 4 10 14 — 45
Carroll County – Combs 25, F. Johnson 9, Haynes 6, N. Johnson 3, Hodges 3, M. Johnson 1. 3-pointers – F. Johnson 3, Combs 2, Hodges 1.
Patrick Henry – Harris 4, Boxley 2, Robinson 5, Joyce 12, Anderson 2, Hamlet 5, Pace 4, Woody 5, Thomas 3, Mason 3. 3-pointers – Robinson 1, Joyce 1, Hamlet 1, Woody 1, Thomas 1, Mason 1.
Carroll Co. 61, Blacksburg 58
Jordon Combs made the most of his final home game Wednesday, leading Carroll County with 31 points and 11 rebounds on Senior Night in a 61-58 win over Blacksburg.
A senior post player, Combs pumped in 25 points in the second half, including two clutch free throws with five seconds left, to help Carroll earn its second district win of the season.
“Jordon just owned the block with his post moves and offensive rebounds. He played great in the second half and made two huge free throws at the end of the game to put us by three,” Carroll County head coach Brad Hawks said. “I was happy to send our four seniors out with a win. Noah (Johnson) and Jordon both had big nights, and Forrest (Johnson) defensively has stepped up lately. I’m really glad for those guys.”
Trailing 27-26 at intermission, the Cavaliers made a concerted effort to pound the ball inside to Combs. As the senior post player started to pour in the points, it opened up things for his teammates as well.
“We did some isolation stuff with him, let him establish himself on the block. He also stepped out and made three 3-pointers to stretch the defense out and give room for our guards to penetrate some,” Hawks said.
After Combs’ free throws gave the Cavs a 61-58 advantage with five seconds left, Carroll secured the victory after an errant 3-point attempt by the Bruins. Hank Skutt sank six 3-pointers to lead Blacksburg (5-16, 3-10 River Ridge) with 18 points. Hawks credited assistant coach Tee Jackson for a tactic that helped slow down the Bruins’ ace shooter late in the contest.
“Toward the end of the game, Tee made the call to go to a diamond-and-one on Skutt to keep him from hitting threes,” Hawks said. “Forrest Johnson did an excellent job on him.”
Noah Johnson added 12 points in the win for Carroll, while Micah Johnson finished with eight points and Forrest Johnson scored six.
Blacksburg 15 12 17 14 — 58
Carroll Co. 11 15 19 16 — 61
Blacksburg – Skutt 18, Johnston 16, Van Glider 8, Houston 7, Verbrugge 5, Hudson 2, Cianelli 2. 3-pointers – Skutt 6, Verbrugge 1.
Carroll County – Combs 31, N. Johnson 12, M. Johnson 8, F. Johnson 6, Hodges 2, Haynes 2. 3-pointers – Combs 3, F. Johnson 2, N. Johnson 2.