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The Carroll County Panthers snapped a six-game losing streak Saturday by topping Eminence 64-55 on the road.
“Eminence is a tough place to play,” Carroll County Head Coach Carroll Yager said. “It was a good win for us. It’s a win we had been looking for a long time and a win we badly needed.”
The Panthers had last tasted victory on Dec. 30, with a win in the Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic in Florida.
“It gets to the point where it begins to work on the kids’ confidence level,” Yager said. “They were feeling pretty good” after Saturday’s win.
After a low-scoring first two quarters the Panthers and Warriors were knotted at 20-20 at halftime.
“It was close most of the way,” Yager said. “We had one of our biggest second halves of the year scoring 44 points.”
Will Yager led the way offensively for Carroll County with 29 points. The senior canned nine of 11 field goal attempts from two-point range. His high point output came without the benefit of a single three-point goal. Ethan Stewart added 15 points, Andy Sisenstein 10 and Jesse Proctor connected for six.
“Our inside people really battled,” Coach Yager said. “D.C. Craig and Zach Wise both fouled out and Dallas Gibson had four fouls, so that shows they were really working inside. Craig had a strong night on the boards getting 10 rebounds for us.”
Yager had complained after several recent Panther losses about his team’s inability to close games.
“We’ve got to learn that we have to play 32 minutes, not just 26,” he had said following last week’s loss to Kentucky Country Day. “I am proud of our hustle at the end but I’m a little frustrated at the same time because that’s really been the missing ingredient that’s been keeping us from getting over that hump. If we could just play that way for 32 minutes.”
Saturday, the Panthers kept their cool during the closing minutes and caught a few breaks along the way, Yager said.
“In the last four minutes we handled the ball well,” he said. “We executed better in the last few minutes than we have been in recent games. We had the right people at the free throw line at the right time.”
The Panthers were to host border rivals Trimble County last night—the third matchup with the Raiders this season. The teams have split the previous two meetings. Results of last night’s contest were not available at press time.