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The Carroll County High School Panthers burned up the hardwood at the Gallatin Steel Invitational, winning three of four games played in the tournament hosted by Gallatin County High School during Christmas break.
The Panthers coasted to victory over Spencer County 58-32, after besting Dayton in the opener, 61-59, in overtime.
Carroll then met the Iroquois Raiders of Louisville and made a good showing against a very tall, quick and physical team. The Panthers lost, 47-58. The Raiders beat Meade County by 20 points, Spencer County by 37 and Dayton by 39.
Carroll County came out and played focused and determined to win the contest. The Panthers spread the floor in the first quarter of the game, not allowing Iroquois to double-team any one player for very long.
Coach Yager has preached to his team all season to treat each possession as a chance to score, and this was the night that mantra paid off. Every possession was contested on both sides, but the Panthers were able to stave off the Raiders, ending the first quarter 17-13.
The Raiders began to pull away from the Panthers in the second quarter as the Raiders adjusted their strategy – play got rougher and fouls began to take their toll.
The Panthers outscored Iroquois in the first and third periods, but the Raiders made up for it in the second and fourth quarters. The Panthers played tough throughout the game and gave the Raiders their toughest competition of the tournament.
Chris Hendrick and Will Yager were high-scorers with 11 each, Matt Allen and D.C. Craig each added eight, Casey Cable threw in seven and Jesse Proctor added two.
The final game for the Carroll County Panthers had them pitted against the Ludlow, Ky., Panthers. Carroll County came out on top 52-36 with tough defensive play and excellent shooting.
Foul trouble wasn’t quite as bad in the final game as the one against Iroquois, but the shooting was lights out.
Yager shot four of five from the line, and made four field goals and four treys for a total of 24. Hendrick poured in another 14, going six for eight from the line.
Carroll County opened the door for Ludlow, scoring only eight points in the final period, but Ludlow wasn’t able to cut the lead, and scored only two from behind the arc during the period.
The Panthers took third place.