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Saturday night wasn’t the Panthers’ best game of the week, but it was good enough to get the win and a 3-0 start to the 2013-14 season. The Carroll County boys defeated the visiting Williamstown Demons, 60-44.
“They had a good game plan, and we’re fortunate to be able to get the win,” head coach Carroll Yager said.
Senior Dakota Corbin posted his third straight double-double with 19 points and 13 rounds, while senior transfer Blake Kruzan had his best showing of the season so far with five points and 11 rebounds.
The Demons started a five-guard lineup and took their time on offense, moving the ball and running the clock. Both teams scored on their first three possessions, before going on a drought until the last three minutes of the quarter. Carroll ended the first quarter up 13-10.
Corbin went on an offensive frenzy in the second quarter, scoring all 11 of the Panthers’ points. However, the Demons stayed close, down just two at halftime, 24-22.
Yager said his team’s inexperience came into play against Williamstown, as they tried to make in-game adjustments to what the Demons were doing. It took some time, but the Panthers eventually made the changes and outscored the visitors 36-22 in the second half to pull away.
The Panthers went on a 10-3 run in the middle of the third quarter to help give them a seven-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Carroll’s defense stepped up in the second half – senior Jacob Wise in particular, who finished the game with six steals – and Williamstown began rushing its shots late in the game. The Panthers also did a good job of defensive rebounding, allowing the Demons just one shot as the clock wound down.
One area desperately in need of improvement was free throw shooting, as the Panthers hit just 12 of 25 on the night. That would have played a significant factor had the Demons been able to make a few more 3-pointers down the stretch.
Williamstown’s David Jump led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Corbin’s 19.
Also scoring for the Panthers: Wise, 16 points; Isaiah Hogan, seven points; Austin Crowell, six points; John Michael Adams and Kruzan, five points and Jackson “Boo” Donahue, two points.
The Panthers outrebounded the Demons 39-28 and forced 14 steals compared to just one by the visitors.
Carroll County will have the rest of the week to practice, leading up to a girls-boys doubleheader against Owen County Friday night. The girls varsity will play at 6 p.m., followed by the boys varsity at 8 p.m.