Sunday, March 03, 2013

E.C. Glass zone puts Cavaliers in a vice

The Hilltoppers' 2-3 defense held Carroll County without a field goal for almost 14 minutes.

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E.C. Glass center Karl Overstreet stands 6 feet, 9 inches tall.

The Hilltoppers' starting guards - Akeem Jones and Jermaine Mayo - are 5-foot-7. Maybe.

The long and short of it? That's what did in Carroll County on Saturday night.

Overstreet's size on the back line and the Glass guards' quickness out front keyed a 2-3 zone defense that locked down Carroll's offense and drummed the Cavaliers out of the Group AA Division 4 boys basketball tournament with a 61-46 setback at Salem Civic Center.

Glass held Carroll County without a field goal for almost 14 minutes during the second and third quarters as the Cavaliers posted their second lowest output of the season.

Only a 62-34 loss Feb. 2 on the same floor to another Lynchburg school - Virginia Episcopal - produced fewer points.

Carroll made just 2 of 23 3-point shots and hit just 16 of 56 total field goals while being outrebounded 51-29.

"When you shoot 8.7 percent from the 3-point line it's hard to beat anybody," Cavaliers coach Brad Hawks said. "When you give up 22 offensive rebounds, you're just not going to win many games.

"They just absolutely punished us on the glass. We ran the offense we wanted to for the most part."

Carroll County (24-3) was looking for its first state semifinal berth in 33 years, but it was Glass that earned a trip for the first time since the Hilltoppers won the Group 1A championship in 1967.

"I look at the pictures in the hallways," Glass coach Roy Roberson said. "I know it's been a long time."

Glass (20-8) will face 2012 Division 4 runner-up Grafton in a semifinal at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday at VCU's Siegel Center. Carroll County went back to Hillsville after one of the best seasons in school history.

The first quarter produced six lead changes, and the game was tied at 20 two minutes into the second quarter.

However, Glass' defense put the clamps on, holding the Cavaliers without a field goal until Conner Lundy hit a short jumper with 40 seconds left in the third quarter.

Jones, who scored a game-high 23 points, hit a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer for a 43-26 lead.

Carroll County cut the deficit to 45-31 early in the fourth quarter and had two chances to trim the lead further. Instead, Conner Lundy missed a pair of 3-pointers on one possession, then Overstreet blocked a breakaway layup by Gunner Beamer, leading to a layup on the other end by Jones.

Overstreet finished with six points, 14 rebounds, six blocked shots and one dunk.

"It helps when that zone is anchored by a 6-9 kid, first and foremost," Roberson said. "But we started the year 0 and 3. Never did I question our talent and our ability. It was just a matter of how long it would take for us to mesh. They found it at the right time."

Carroll County picked the worst time to play its worst game of the year.

Hawks had high hopes that a return to Salem would pay dividends until the Cavaliers' shooting went bankrupt.

Lundy, Beamer and Southwest District player of the year Ryan Gravley combined to shoot 8 of 37 from the field and 2 of 21 from long range against Glass' active and wide zone.

"I think we had four points in the second quarter and six in the third," Hawks said. "It's hard to beat anybody when you play like that. We did some things that were very uncharacteristic on this stage. You expect a few mistakes, but it's one of those things."

Carroll can take solace in its first Region IV championship in 33 years. The Cavaliers return seven players next year when they join the River Ridge District.

"I guess it's the second-best record in school history," Hawks said. "I told the kids, 'Keep your head up. You did something that's against the norm in Carroll County.' We didn't go as far as we would have liked, but it was a great learning experience."

E.C. GLASS (20-8)

S.Brown 5 3-5 15, Bateman 3 1-2 7, Overstreet 3 0-1 6, Mayo 3 3-4 11, A.Jones 7 6-8 23, Vereen 0 0-0 0, Osinga 0 0-0 0, Crater 0 0-0 0, R.Jones 0 0-0 0, T.Brown 0 0-0 0, Ragsdale 0 1-2 1, Rosa 0 0-0 0, Manuel 0 0-0 0, Jeter 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 14-22 61.


Smoot 1 1-2 3, Lundy 3 0-0 7, Horton 3 1-1 7, Gravley 2 3-4 8, Beamer 3 4-4 10, Reece 0 0-0, Keith 3 1-4 7, Giles 0 0-0 0, Holder 0 0-0 0, Lineberry 1 2-2 4, Dalton 0 0-0 0, Snow 0 0-0 0, Case 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 12-17 46.

E.C. Glass 17 14 12 18-61

Carroll County 16 4 6 20-46

3-point-goals - E.C. Glass 5 (A.Jones 3, Mayo 2), Carroll County 2 (Lundy, Gravley). Total fouls - E.C. Glass 14, Carroll County 19. Fouled out - none.

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