Having already beaten Magna Vista by a total of 52 points in two earlier wins, the Carroll County girls’ basketball team got a tougher-than-expected fight from the Warriors before pulling out a 59-46 win Wednesday in a Region IV Quarterfinal in Hillsville.
Magna Vista (9-11) pulled to within 39-33 late in the third quarter before Carroll County (16-9) eventually took control in the final period. Crysta Guynn drilled four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points for the Cavaliers. Meanwhile, Taylor Martin scored 13 points and knocked down 5-of-6 free throws in the final 90 seconds as Carroll advanced to play Bassett on Thursday night at Magna Vista in a Region IV Semifinal.
“(Crysta) has played well the last three or four games. She’s shot the ball well, and right now she is our best scorer,” Carroll County head coach Marc Motley said. “But you know how we play, it could be anybody any given night, and it just so happens the last two or three nights it’s been her. We are starting to get some pressure on the basketball and it is starting to leave our shooters open. So as long as we are getting people double teamed, it is pretty hard to close out on her. And she has made the most of her opportunities.”
The Warriors struck first as Magna Vista center Makayla Hairston scored the first five points of the game in the paint to put her team ahead 5-0. Hairston gave the Cavaliers problems all night long, scoring 18 points before fouling out in the second half.
“We played them twice this year and they scored 24 and 26 points in the two games we’ve played them. I thought they played much better tonight than did offensively either game we played them during the year,” Motley said. “The big kid in the middle, she just gave us fits until she fouled out. And even in the second half she was in foul trouble and they were trying to go offense, defense, offense, defense with her.”
Megan Alderman finally put Carroll on the board with a 3-pointer at the 6:15 mark of the first quarter. Martin also connected from downtown a minute later. Michala Hash followed with a driving basket in the lane and Guynn hit a pair of free throws to complete a 10-0 run.
Guynn really got going late in the period, hitting a pair of three-pointers, the second of which she was fouled on. She hit the ensuing free throw to complete the four-point play, giving Carroll a 17-9 lead heading into the second period.
“We didn’t play great tonight. Crysta carried us shooting the basketball and Taylor made free throws down the stretch,” Motley said. “We didn’t play exceptionally great, but at this point and time it doesn’t matter how good you play if you win.”
Hayden Caldwell’s bucket late in the second quarter gave the Cavaliers a 14-point advantage, its biggest of the half, before ending the second quarter up 29-16. But with both Martin and Alderman in foul trouble, Magna Vista began chipping away at the lead in the third quarter, getting as close as 36-31 with 2:38 left in the period. Brandi Warner scored 10 of her 16 points in the third for the Warriors.
“The Warner kid just started attacking the basket and…we actually went to the zone just because we had so much foul trouble. We had both our point guards with four fouls in the third quarter with four minutes to go. We were struggling there,” Motley said. “We could only keep one in the game because I couldn’t afford both of them getting tired.”
But when things got tight, Guynn stepped up and canned two more 3-pointers, including a buzzer beater to put the Cavs in front 47-35 heading into the fourth quarter. Magna Vista never got closer than eight points the rest of the way as Carroll made 10-of-16 free throws over the final eight minutes and played zone to slow down Magna Vista’s offense.
“We were trying to use it in a situation to keep the Warner kid out of the paint because we had our point guards in foul trouble and we didn’t feel like we guarded her well. Sometimes the zone slows the game down a little bit and I think that is what it did best for us tonight,” Motley said. “Other than that we did it because of foul trouble. Defensively we just tried to slow the game down a little bit, and we made a few shots.”
Carroll can earn its second straight berth in the state tournament with a win tonight (Feb. 21) against Bassett.
M. Vista 9….7..19..11 - 46
Carroll 17..12..18..12 - 59
Magna Vista – Thompson 2 1-3 6, Johnson 0 0-2 0, McDaniel 1 1-2 3, Adams 1 0-0 3, Warner 4 8-8 16, M. Hairston 7 4-4 18. 3-pointers – Thompson 1, Adams 1.
Carroll County – Alderman 1 1-3 4, Sheek 1 2-2 4, Hash 3 3-3 9, Caldwell 3 0-0 6, Martin 2 8-10 13, Guynn 5 6-9 20, Sellers 1 1-2 3. 3-pointers – Guynn 4, Martin 1, Alderman 1.