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The loss of Carroll County’s Top Gun early in the second quarter contributed to a dismal evening for the Lady Panthers en route to a 53-29 win for Trimble County at Bedford Friday.
Carroll senior Hannah Devine suffered the injury while driving the free throw lane to the basket. Devine suddenly crumpled with a knee injury and left the game with about six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half. Devine attempted to return to the game with 4:10 remaining in the half but the pain was too severe to continue.
Both Carroll County Head Coach Randy Mefford and Trimble County Head Coach Kerrie Stewart acknowledged the loss of Devine was a factor in the outcome.
“With Hannah going out—she’s the most experienced player we’ve got—that threw us for a loop,” Mefford said. “It threw us out of sync a little bit but we actually played our first game without Hannah.”
Devine was involved in a traffic accident prior to the Lady Panthers’ season opener against Eminence on Nov. 29.
“It hasn’t been a good start to Hannah’s senior year,” Mefford said.
“I hate it for Hannah,” Stewart said. “She is a quality kid and a quality player and our prayers are going to be with her in hopes that this is not going to turn out to be a serious injury of any sort. I felt like when she was in the game that we had a little more focus and intensity than when she went out. I thought they showed a lot of courage to play without her and to play as hard as they did without her was a true testament to those girls and to Coach Mefford.”
Trimble was in command of the game when the incident occurred, leading 14-5 with all five Lady Panther points attributed to Devine.
“I’m not taking anything away from Trimble County,” Mefford said. “They outplayed us and the outcome might not have been any different with her in there. They really wanted this game and I give credit to Trimble County and Coach Stewart because they were well prepared.”
The Lady Raiders fronted 11-3 at the first quarter stop and 21-14 at the half.
Mefford told his team at halftime that he was pleased that they were only down by seven points at halftime considering how “poorly as we played the first half. Then we came back in the third quarter and got it down to five but then it goes back up to 10 or 11. Everybody plays a little bit better at home. I thought they beat us to loose balls and they were a more aggressive team tonight.”
Trimble steadily became more focused in the third quarter and fronted 32-23 at the quarter stop. Carroll’s inability to find the basket in the final quarter spelled doom for the Lady Panthers. Carroll scored six points on three free throws and a trey by Makena Kindoll to close the night.
“We bounced back and over the course of the four quarters we were able to wear them down and we were able to wind up with a nice margin there at the end,” Stewart said.
“We just have to learn how to handle the basketball better,” Mefford said. “I thought the difference in the game was the turnovers that we had. We had 37 turnovers. We just didn’t handle their pressure at all.”
Trimble’s Jessie Dunlap led all scorers with 14 points. Every Lady Raider on the bench saw playing time in the game and eight put points on the board. Paige Black contributed nine points, Chloe Griffith, eight; Jessica Ball and Sara Kuner scored six each, McKenzie Dunlap five, Sydney Brewer added four and Katie Temple added a free throw.
Kindoll led Carroll County with 10 points, Devine had five, Brittany Arvin and Kayla Williamson had four each, Lauren Moore scored three, Nikki Hill two and Andie Hardesty contributed a free throw.
“This team has got to improve a whole lot for us to become a decent team,” Mefford said. “We’re not a very good basketball team right now and we’ve got a long way to go. Until we learn how to handle the pressure better and not throw it away so much then it’s going to be tough for us and we’re going to see it every night. It wasn’t one or two people throwing it away a lot, it was a collective group.”
“We’re still not there but certainly we were closer tonight to playing a little harder with a little more focus and intensity,” Stewart said.
Trimble, now 1-2 on the season, suffered a 55-47 loss at Grant County Saturday. The Lady Raiders return to action Friday when they host Williamstown.
Carroll County, 1-1 on the year, hosted Southwestern of Hanover last night. That game had not been completed at press time.