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The Panthers remain undefeated at 4-0 as they survive an overtime district thriller on the road against the Owen County Rebels Thursday, winning 53-51.
“Both teams played really, really hard, very intense game,” head coach Carroll Yager said. “Both of the crowds were into it. It was a fun atmosphere. We feel fortunate to get the win.” Yager said it was one of those games where either team could have won because it was so close.
Both offenses tried to play up-tempo and run the floor, but good defense by both teams kept the game close, Yager said.
Tied 15-15 at the half, the Panthers outscored the Rebels 18-12 in the third. But the Rebels would not back down, outscoring Carroll 20-14 in the fourth to force overtime.
Carroll senior Trey Boles cut to the basket and hit a four-footer to tie the game with time running out. On the throw-in, junior Austin Crowell stole the ball inside the top of the circle and took it in for a lay-up, putting the Panthers ahead by two, Yager said.
Owen turned the ball over and fouled Boles. He missed the free throw, and the Rebels got the rebound and called timeout with about two seconds remaining. After deflecting the ball out of bounds once, Owen County threw the ball the length of the floor, but it was batted down, giving Carroll County the victory.
Senior Brandon Stewart led the Panthers with 16 points, hitting 4-5 from the 3-point line. Boles scored 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while senior Dallas Gibson scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Crowell scored six points and had six rebounds, while juniors Jacob Wise and Dakota Corbin also scored two points.
Carson Williams was the game’s top scorer with 25 points, while Zach Ripy scored 13 points. Also scoring was Hunter Trenary, nine points, and Justin Shelton, four points. Yager played just six guys against Owen and said the team has worked hard on conditioning, which showed during the extended game.
“The guys really showed determination and focus, and I think we’ll come away with experience playing in that kind of environment, playing with that kind of intensity, playing in an overtime game, even playing in the last seconds of regulation. I think we’re going to grow from the game,” Yager said.
While it was nice to defeat a district opponent, especially the one who sent the Panthers home in the district tournament last season, Yager cautioned his players to keep everything in perspective. This was just the fourth game of the season, and the two teams will meet at least once more, he said. He advised them to celebrate the win, but be ready to move on and focus on what is ahead.
Ladies fall to Southwestern
The Lady Panthers struggled to score against the visiting Southwestern Lady Rebels, shooting just 23 percent from the field in the 54-25 loss.
In preparation for the game, Carroll head coach Paul Stone said his team worked on press offense a lot this week and was ready when Southwestern opened the game pressing. “It worked, and we threw over top of their press, but we missed some really good looks at the basket,” he said.
However, the Lady Rebels switched defenses to a half court trap, and the Lady Panthers struggled. “There’s where our inexperience showed,” he said. “Once they switched defenses, we didn’t adjust.”
Southwestern jumped out to a 20-2 lead in the first quarter, and Carroll never could recover.
Lauren Moore posted her first double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Makena Kindoll scored five points and Miranda Groseclose scored four points. Kayla Williamson, Kristen “Doodle” Amick and Chastity Burgin each scored two points.
“We’ve got to get better at adjusting to change,” Stone said. “We’ve got to be able to adapt, and that’s, again, about being a young team.”