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Second half dooms the Cougars in road loss

530013_437485132944537_279580370_n-1By Rodney Young, SWT Sports Writer

Hillsville – The Cougars played perhaps their best half of basketball this season against the senior heavy Carroll County Cavaliers.  Unfortunately it takes four quarters to win, as the Cougars can now attest to.

Down 36-34 at halftime, the Cougars were outscored 24-11 in the third quarter before eventually losing to the hosting Cavaliers 81-61.

Senior Connor Lundy scored a team and game high 33 points.  He hit from two point land, from three point land, and some from what seemed like downtown Hillsville . He finished with eight two point buckets and hit four three-pointers. He also was five of six from the charity stripe.

The Cougars were led by Cam Merchant with 17 points.  Lonnie Mattox and Malik Eaves both chipped in with 10 points each.  The Cougars actually started the game slowly falling behind 16-5 in the first four minutes. After a timeout they would go on a 17-6 run to close the opening quarter down by just three, 22-19.

Lundy had help in the contest from fellow seniors Gunnar Beamer with 13 points and Cody Keith scored 11 points.  Carroll County has eight seniors on their 12 man roster.  Those seniors scored 71 of their total points in the game.

“We got down early but we came back to within two points at the half, ” said Cougar Head Coach Mark Hanks.  “We settled for jump shots in the second half.  Yes we hit some the first half, but we got down in third quarter and the game got away from us. We got out of our scoring rhythm.  Beamer and Lundy are good and they are well coached.”

The Cougar junior varsity continued their winning ways by beat the Cavaliers JV 54-46.  The win improves their record to 13-4.  It was their fourth straight win, and they have won 9 of their last 10 games.

Kevin Smith hit five 3-pointers to lead the Cougars with 15 points.  Ellliott Brewster and Brad Church had 12 points each.  Bryant Grubb had 7 points, Hunter Thomas scored 3 points, Barron Blevins scored 2 points, and Jake Clary scored 1 point.  Eight grader Jayden Frazier scored his first JV points as he hit two of four free throws.  The Cavaliers were led by Micah Johnson with 10 points and Brogan Bowman with 9 points.

Pulaski Co (9-8, 6-5) will now play their last two regular season home games this Thursday and Friday in the Cougar Den.  They host the hot Galax Maroon Tide Thursday night on Senior night.  Then they host the Christiansburg Blue Demons Friday.  Both nights the junior varsity starts at 5:30 and varsity games will get underway at 7 p.m.

PC   19  15  11  16-61

CC    22  14  24  21-81

PC- Eaves 10, Mattox 10, Merchant 17, Hickman 6, Poe 9, Johnston 6, Burks 3

CC- Lundy 33, Beamer 13, Keith 11, Shinault 2, Giles 5, Dalton 9, Hayton 4, Johnson 2, Cochran 2

3-Pt Goals- PC – 3 (Eaves 2, Merchant ) CC- 6 (Lundy 4, Beamer, Dalton)

FG’S – PC- 22, CC-31

FT’S – PC- 14 of 20, CC- 13 of 19

Total Fouls- PC- 15, CC- 13

Technicals- PC- Mattox, CC- none

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One Response to Second half dooms the Cougars in road loss

  1. J.P. Widner

    February 6, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Though the Cavaliers played one of their best games of the season, the Cougars had them against the ropes after the second quarter. With a up-tempo pace from the trio of Merchant, Hickman and Maddox, the Cougars were too much for the Cavaliers in the second quarter. Many fans, including myself, couldn’t understand why they stopped doing what actually got them back in the game and settled for strictly jump shots in the third quarter. With no inside game, the Cavaliers pulled away for the home victory.
    In the JV game, the Pulaski County 8th graders looked good in the final two minutes of the game as they held their own against the Cavalier starters. They actually had better ball movement and a better inside game than the Cougar starters. Pulaski County has a bright future with Trent Blankenship, Alex Akers, CC Grubb, Sean Spencer and DMS superstar Frasier.

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