By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. —
Unbeaten Southwest District leader Carroll County got the 1-2 punch against homestanding Tazewell Tuesday.
A flurry of five-three point buckets in the first six minutes powered the Cavaliers to a 17-6 and Carroll County survived a furious Bulldog rally in the second half with a powerful inside effort to grab a convincing 83-64 SWD triumph.
Paced Carroll with 22 points including three treys and a 7-of-8 effort at the line, while lanky Cody Keith chipped in with 16 more including the spark in a 14-0 run in the final four minutes of the third quarter. Austin Horton added 10 for the Cavaliers.
That was the combination that powered Carroll (12-0, 2-0) to the win over Tazewell (5-7, 0-1) despite a 21-point effort from Jalen Jordan and a 10-point, 11-rebound, six blocked shots game by Noah Walker. It was a rough battle underneath for Walker, who fouled out of the game with 1:33 to play.
Colin Hancock also had another solid effort for the Bulldogs. Hancock drilled three treys and scored 13 points.
Crisp passing, Keith’s intensity with the issue in doubt, and determined rebounding by Carroll’s Austin Horton were all keys to the win. Eleven different players scored for Carroll County.
Keith said, “We almost let Tazewell get past us in the second half, so we challenged them inside. We knew we had to be more physical. We had gotten off to a good start but we let them (THS) take the momentum away for a while.”
The Bulldogs, down 37-20 at the break, battled to within six points, at 48-42, at the 2:55 mark of the third quarter. Hancock, Christian Lewis, and Jordan ignited the attack. Jordan sizzled around the lane and was 8-of-11 at the stripe to lead the way.
Carroll, however, was too much in the closing minutes.
“We played so hard at the start,” noted Cavalier coach Brad Hawks. “Then after halftime we got out of our game plan. We were really sloppy but we got things together and took back control. Cody (Keith) did what he does. He came in and got us going with a great effort on our run. We threw our press in there and it was pretty effective for us.”
Tazewell battled hard until the end but could not close the gap, working against foul trouble and a solid Cavalier defense.
“I’m disappointed,” said THS coach Lee Walker. “Not with our effort. Our team played hard but it was very physical out there. Our kids had a tough time, especially in the second half. That was the big thing for us. It’s tough on nights like that.”
Carroll was a sizzling 20-for-27 at the line and Tazewell made a solid 12-of-18 free throws in a good night for both clubs.
Carroll hosts Pulaski tonight and Tazewell is at home hosting Marion on Friday.
At Tazewell Middle School
CARROLL COUNTY (12-0, 2-0)
Ryan Gravely 22, Chris Smoot 5, Gunner Beamer 7, Taylor Case 5, Conner Lundy 5, Cody Keith 16, Tyler Lineberry 4, Duncan Reece 4, Auston Horton 10, Nathan Snow 3, Lucas Holder 2.
TAZEWELL (6-7, 0-1)
Christian Lewis 9, Nathan Cline 1, Colin Hancock 13, Isaac Santana 4, Jalen Jordan 21, Cody McCann 2, Jesse Mountain 4, Noah Walker 10.
Carroll County..................17 20 25 21 — 83
Tazewell.............................10 10 22 22 — 64
Three-point goals – C 7 (Gravely 3, Beamer 2, Smoot 1, Lundy 1). T 4 (Hancock –3, Jordan –1). Fouled out – Noah Walker.