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Panthers prevail with 51-48 OT win over district foe Henry Co.

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By Tim Hendrick

Carroll County’s young boys basketball team took a giant stride forward in the 51-48 overtime victory over 31st District opponent Henry County.

With Carroll County graduating the majority of its game minutes the team only had one player on the floor in the overtime that had been in that type of game.

“This was the first time that most of these guys had been in that situation,” Carroll County head coach Carroll Yager said. “ This was our fifth game of the season and we had not been in game like this.”

“The one thing I really liked is we kept competing,” Yager said. “When we lost the eight point lead they could have said oh well we played a pretty good game but they didn’t. They kept their composure and kept trying to make plays.”

“It is a good thing that anytime you come out with a win in an overtime game,” Yager said. “This was a good experience for them and I am really proud of every single player.”

The first quarter of the game was back and forth. Senior center Taylor Schirmer scored eight of his 12 points in the first quarter before exiting after his second foul with 47.8 seconds left in the first quarter.  After Schirmer left the game, Henry County’s Gavin Jamison scored to give Henry the lead at the end the first quarter 13-12.

Jamison then scored two quick baskets to give Henry a five-point lead but other than a free throw by Henry’s Trey Willis the quarter belonged to Carroll County.

Isaiah Hogan scored five points on two free throws and a three-point basket, Jackson “Boo” Donahue added four points plus single baskets by Clark Willhoite and Austin Crank gave Carroll a seven-point lead at the half, 25-18.

Carroll County opened its largest lead, 13-points, with about three minutes left in the third quarter. Henry County turned up the defensive pressure and began trapping in the backcourt. Carroll County turned the ball over a few times and Henry cut five-points off the lead by the end of the quarter, 39-31.

Henry continued to apply the defensive pressure and cut into Carroll’s lead closing to within one point at 39-38 before Schirmer put in a jumper in the lane for Carroll’sfirst points of the quarter.

Henry’s Jackson Jeffries scored to cut the lead back to one before Carroll’s Jacob Evans hit a three-point shot with 4:02 left on the clock to put Carroll up by four. That would be Carroll’s final points in the regulation play. Two more baskets by Jeffries tied the game back up at 44.

Yager called time out with 1:45 left on the clock to set up the delay offense as he planned on taking the final shot of the game. The strategy worked until Donahue threw an errant pass giving the ball to Henry with 22 seconds left on the clock.  Henry ran a set play for the final shot with a baseline jumper going over the rim and Schirmer captured the rebound as the game went into overtime.

Henry jumped out to a four-point lead on two baskets by Jamison but Henry would not score again in the game.

Hogan hit a three-point shot from the corner before following up with two free throws with 46.6 seconds left giving Carroll a one point lead.

Henry County took a time out with 26.4 seconds left to set its strategy. Henry missed a jumper and Schirmer again collected the rebound. Henry fouled immediately send Schirmer to the line. Schrimer made both free throws giving Carroll a three-point lead.

“We played soft defense on the inbound just like we wanted,” Yager said.

Henry advanced to mid-court and called a time out with 3 seconds left.

Jeffries put up a 30-foot jumper that only hit the backboard as time ran out.

“The best thing was we got a win,” Yager said. “It would have been difficult for this bunch to have played this hard and not gotten a win.”

Carroll County was led in scoring by Hogan with 13 points, Schrimer added 12 points and 7 rebounds, Evan McMahan had eight points, Donahue and Evans each chipped in with six points, Crank had four points and Willhoite scored two.

Carroll County made six three-point shots and was 11 for 15 from the foul line.

After a Dec. 20 match up with Gallatin County, Carroll traveled to Bellevue for the Mike Swauger Tournament Dec. 22 and 23.  The Panthers will be on the road after the Christmas holiday for the Larue County tournament.