“When we played well, we could play with anybody all season and we just had two really good games in the tournament,” Carroll County JV coach Brandi Mitchell said. “I told them all season before every game, ‘If we come to play and play well for all four quarters we could beat anybody, if not we could lose them to anybody.’ We had two real good games to end the season.”
Carroll County, which lost its only regular-season battle with Tazewell, played well all four quarters in the rematch, winning 35-31 in a SWD Tournament semifinal at Richlands on Feb. 18. Michala Hash led the Lady Cavs with 14 points, while Crysta Guynn added nine. Guynn made a pair of clutch free throws with four seconds remaining to put Carroll ahead by eight points. Hayden Caldwell added eight points and Rachel Sellers dropped in four more as the Cavs advanced to the SWD championship game against Richlands on Feb. 20.
Guynn again came up with two big free throws, knocked down two in the final seconds to give Carroll a four-point lead in a 30-26 victory for the district title. Hash paced the Cavaliers with 12 points, while Guynn cracked double figures with 11. Taylor Martin added three in the win and Sellers and Caldwell each scored two points. Sellers hauled in a couple of big rebounds down the stretch as well, Mitchell said.
“We had split with Richlands during the regular season, but we played real well for four quarters inn the championship game,” Mitchell said. “It was mostly a team effort. We have four of five players when they step up and play well we are hard to beat because we are all so spread out. Crysta Guynn and Michala Hash were probably the two that stepped up the most those last two games.”
With the strong push to end the season, Carroll’s girls finished with a 14-7 record. Not bad for a team that had no returning players from last season and no sophomores. The 2009-2010 Cavaliers were made up of all freshmen and two eighth graders.
“All the games we won were close games and we seemed to handle them pretty well. They finished strong, so it’s a good thing to carry into the next season,” Mitchell said. “(Carroll County varsity head coach Marc) Motley loses five seniors so I will probably lose a couple, but for the most part we will have them all back and we’ll be much more experienced.”
Carroll’s won the district despite a relatively small lineup that normally featured four guards and one post player in the starting five. Mitchell said the JV team was a lot like the varsity in that they weren’t always the best team on the floor, but they were usually the hardest-working team on the court.
“They are not overly talented, but they work so hard. They have always wanted to be in gym working hard and they definitely deserve a great season for all the work they put into it,” Mitchell said. “It was a learning experience. The good thing about this group is I have coached most of them since they were 9 or 10. They were my AAU team and I moved up with them to the 9th grade last year. We know each other well and that helps a lot.”
The 2009-2010 Carroll County JV team consisted of Taylor Martin, Megan Alderman, Sarah Boyd, Michala Hash, Hayden Caldwell, Morgan Cain, Rachel Sellers, Cassidi McCann, Crysta Guynn, Brittany Willard and Brooke Hill.