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By LARRY SULLIVAN, JR.
Special to The Trimble Banner
Watching rivals Trimble and Carroll counties go head to head in any sport is always entertaining and last Thursday’s boys basketball game was no different. When it was all over, the Raiders had regained the confidence they lacked in a match-up two days prior against the Henry County Wildcats and brought home the win 67-57.
The Raiders came into the game pumped up with the energy that always comes with a Panther match-up. The team had all its seniors eligible to play, as senior Cory Turner returned to the floor following a one game suspension for his involvement in an earlier altercation.
“I was ready to go ever since the buzzer sounded at the end of the Henry County game. I love this game and I was anxious to get out on the floor. I was dressed and ready to go during the freshman game,” Turner said.
From the tip-off, the Raiders were in the game and executing a plan to put the Panthers away in the first half. The Raiders started the game with a 9-0 run and never let up. Senior shooting guard Aaron Law scored 10 of his 19 total points for the night in the first quarter and Turner added a big three that kept the Raiders rolling. The Raiders ended the first quarter 19-9.
“If A-Law shoots like that all the time I could care less how many shots he takes, he’s our best shooter and the best shooter will shoot,” senior Cody Kidwell said.
In the second quarter, the Raiders failed to come out as strong and found themselves letting the Panthers back into the game, similar to the way they handed the win to the Wildcats after a strong first. Although Sullivan put up 8 points in the second, Carroll’s Will Yager dropped in 11 points to bring the Panthers closer to evening up the game. Going into the half, the Raider lead had diminished to 7, showing 36-29 on the board.
Following the halftime break, the Raiders came out with more pep in their step. Good ball movement really helped out the Raiders as Kidwell drained back to back threes that really hurt the Panthers. A real key in the game was the presence of the Raiders “Big Man,” Christian Courtney. Each time his hands touched the ball, he was swarmed by Carroll defenders, allowing double and triple teams set up shots for his teammates. The Raiders ultimately outscored the Panthers 16-15, heading into the fourth quarter with a 52-44 lead.
“Coach told me earlier when the season started that I would be double and triple teamed a lot, but I would have to get use to it and handle it well.” Courtney continued. “Anyway I can help our team to get a win I’m totally fine with that. My individual stats do not matter to me at all.”
In the fourth quarter the Raiders were in the same position they were in last season when the team got off to a good start before letting the Panthers claw back into the game and finally putting them away. After having a cool third quarter, Law began to hit the basket again and scored 8 of his 21 game high points in the fourth quarter.
Throughout most of the fourth, Trimble maintained the lead, until a few poorly executed plays led to key baskets by Carroll. With just over three minutes to go in the game, a big three by Law hit Carroll hard. The Panthers appeared to go in panic mode, shooting for threes and scrambling for help. A series of free thows helped Trimble seal the game 67-57.
Throughout the game, both teams displayed good defensive and offensive maneuvers, recording only 13 turnovers for the night. The win was number three for the Raider varsity team against Carroll County since 2007
“This is the first time since I have been here that we have had a sweep [against Carroll County] by winning freshman, junior varsity and varsity,” Head Coach Bob Lauster said. “Our bench played a solid roll and did exactly what I wanted them to do, which was really key in our win tonight.”
Four Raiders put double digits on the board, including Law with 21 points, Kidwell with 14, Larry Sullivan, 11 and Turner, 12.
The Raider game scheduled for Dec. 6 against Gallatin County was cancelled due to weather and the team played Owen last night, after press time. Tomorrow, Dec. 11, they will face Kentucky Country Day at home, beginning at 7:30 p.m.