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The Panthers (6-6) posted a strong showing in the Beth Haven Holiday Classic, finishing 2-1 in the three-day event Dec. 29-31.
The first game against Portland Christian came down to the wire, as Carroll senior John Walls tipped in the game-winning bucket, 61-59.
“He had the presence of mind to keep playing until the buzzer sounds and tipped it in for us. He had a really good game,” head coach Carroll Yager said. Walls notched a double-double in the contest with 25 points and 14 rebounds, along with four blocks, and he was named the player of the game.
In game two, Carroll took on host-Beth Haven. Yager said they knew going in it would be a tough game. “We were playing them on their floor and it was their Classic so we knew they were going to be excited.”
The Panthers had a sluggish start, down 16-4 after one quarter, but outscored the Bearcats 36-31 the remainder of the game. Unfortunately for the visitors, it was not enough. Beth Haven won the game 49-40.
Yager said the game was tied 40-40 in the fourth quarter, but turnovers and bad shots down the stretch muddied their chances to pull out a come-from-behind win.
Carroll took on Brown in their final matchup and won handily, 76-43. The Panthers were up 45-22 at the half and were able to play everyone “quite a bit” in the game. Junior Dallas Gibson scored 13 points and was named the player of the game.
Overall, Yager said his team played unselfishly throughout the three-day stretch and took good shots. “It was a really good experience playing three games in three days,” he said. “It was a tournament-like atmosphere, as far as preparing for the games.”
Yager said some of his players had breakout games, especially Walls and senior Evan Mefford. Mefford led the team in scoring against Beth Haven with 10 points and also scored 13 points against Brown. “Evan was the player that got us going,” the head coach said. “He played really good defense and played with heart. His effort was contagious among the guys.”
Walls sprained his ankle late against Beth Haven and sat out against Brown. Yager said he hopes to have him back Tuesday against Henry County.
Carroll (5-5): 20 | 21 | 12 | 8 = 61
Portland Christian (3-6): 27 | 15 | 6 | 11 = 59
Carroll: John Walls, 25; Dallas Gibson, 11; Trey Boles, 9; Brandon Stewart, 8; Dakota Corbin, 4; John Perry, 4.
Carroll (5-6): 4 | 10 | 12 | 14 = 40
Beth Haven (9-2): 16 | 7 | 9 | 15 = 49
Carroll: Evan Mefford, 10; Brandon Stewart, 8; Trey Boles, 7; Dallas Gibson, 6; Travis Ellis, 3; Dakota Corbin, 2; John Perry, 2; John Walls, 2.
Carroll (6-6): 29 | 16 | 15 | 16 = 76
Brown (1-13): 9 | 13 | 16 | 5 = 43
Carroll: John Perry, 20; Trey Boles, 16; Dallas Gibson, 13; Evan Mefford, 13; Dakota Corbin, 6; Jay Damron, 3; Travis Ellis, 3; John Michael Adams, 2.