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The Carroll County Middle School eighth grade boys’ basketball team fell behind early in the first half and were not able to catch up to the offensive fire power of the Owen County Rebels. The team lost 44-20 Thursday at home.
“Owen County might be the best team on our schedule,” head coach Jay Jones said. “They’re very talented. They’ve got all the right pieces.”
The Rebels opened with a 5-0, but Kyle Prosser put the Panthers on the board with a bucket down on the blocks. Unfortunately, Owen outscored Carroll 8-0 for the rest of the quarter, giving them a 13-2 lead.
With his team down 27-9 at the half, Dakota Vanarsdal scored two straight baskets to open the third quarter.
Carroll opened the second half with a more focused game plan, and Jones said he was happy with how his team improved as the game went along.
“I’m always disappointed with the loss, but we competed and we got better,” Jones said. “We played much better than we did (Wednesday) night against Trimble County. … Our kids play hard; they play really hard. We weren’t successful tonight, but it was definitely a step forward from where we were at yesterday.”
Vanarsdal led the team with six points, followed by Prosser with four points, Dillian Ellis and Isiah Hogan with three points and Alex Burns and Brett Hall with two points.
Jones said the team’s motto this year is “‘We’re only as good as we are interchangeable’ … Once we get (all our) guys contributing, then that’s when we’ll be good.”
Jones said there are teams on their schedule they will beat and others they will have a hard time with because of their lack of height. But overall, he said he wants his team to keep improving and to be able to compete.
“My goal is for us to become better; take pride in Carroll County basketball, for it to matter; to want to do something special; and just to leave it on the court,” Jones said. “I tell them every day, ‘Don’t let your moms tell you you’re small. You’ll use that for the rest of your life, don’t do it. Want to do something big. And that’s what we’re trying to do. If I can create that mentality and they can go forward and be better basketball players, then I’ve done my job. It’s a battle right now. We’re losing some games that we’ve won in the past, but we’re getting better. And if we keep getting better, I think that they’ll see by the end of the year, we’ll be better for all this effort.”