Outscoring opponents by 31.5 points per game, the Carroll County JV girls’ basketball team completed an undefeated season Thursday with a win over Patrick Henry.
The Lady Cavaliers were so dominant in 2015-16, their closest game was a 15-point victory over Floyd County in the season opener. Carroll County went 21-0 during the season, outscoring opponents by a whopping total of 1,123-461. The Cavs did it despite playing much of the season with just seven players.
“We had five ninth graders, a sophomore, and an eighth grader when the season started. The five ninth graders have been playing together since they were in third grade on the same AAU team,” Carroll County JV girls’ coach Hagen Giles said. “I have coached them since the third grade and it’s a group of girls that loves playing basketball. They’ve always been a team and I have always taught them to play fast, push the ball, and be very aggressive. As you can see, it worked out pretty good for them.”
Giles said the team succeeded around the nucleus of six players, eighth grader Abigail Kennedy and freshmen Amy Caviness, Kenda Robinson, Laken Alley, Kayla Shockley and Caroline Giles. No one player dominated, Hagen Giles said, helping Carroll excel by exemplifying the definition of team.
“There is no special piece, but if you put the pieces together you really have something. They add up to more than each piece would add up,” Giles said. “They play really well together, share the ball, work hard for each other. They are a great defensive team. I would say teams probably averaged scoring less than 25 points against us (21.9 points per game to be exact). It’s really not about any one kid. If I went through and figured up their scoring average, all would be close. I’d say at least five of the girls during one point in the season led us in scoring.”
The younger sister of varsity standout Mattie Kennedy, Abigail Kennedy gave the Cavaliers a strong presence in the post. Giles called her a different player than her sister, who is more of a guard/forward.
“Abigail is a post player and she is probably the most talented girl on the team this year,” he said.
Of the freshman that has been with Giles since the third grade, Caviness is a guard who poses a threat to score at all times.
“She is a good offensive player,” Giles said. “She shoots the ball well.”
Robinson is probably the best overall athlete on the team.
“She can cover the offensive player as good as probably any girl in our program,” Giles said. “She is a talented slasher and she’s hard to stop because her first step is so big and so long.”
Alley was the team’s point guard and did a great job handling the ball all year, Giles said. Shockley plays the power forward position and shoots the ball real well from the outside, he said, and is outstanding at roaming the baseline.
Caroline Giles is another post player for Carroll. She is outstanding on the defensive end,
“She is a smart player,” her father said. “She is aggressive around the basket and kind of the rock on defense in the middle.”
The team’s lone sophomore, Carson Darnell provided valuable minutes off the depth at the guard position. She busted her tail all season for the Cavaliers, Giles said.
After Christmas, Carroll brought up four eighth graders to join the JV team. All are good kids that worked hard in practice, Giles said, adding they were able to get valuable experience for next season as they came off the bench, usually when games got out of hand.
“It was valuable for them to be a part of the JV team and get ready to play for next year,” Giles said. “I had a lot of fun coaching this team and I think (varsity coach) Marc (Motley) is looking forward to having them soon.”
Allen Worrell can be reached by calling (276) 779-4062 or on [email protected]