Coming off a hard-fought, one-point region road win on Friday night, the Carrollton High School boys' basketball team had to dig deep down the stretch less than 24 hours later to put Woodland of Cartersville away for the weekend sweep.
After building a double-digit lead in the first half, the Trojans held off a second-half surge from the Wildcats and closed the contest on an 8-0 run for the 58-40 victory.
Carrollton head coach Tim Criswell knew it would be a grind, both mentally and physically on Saturday afternoon, but he was proud of the energy his team brought to the floor to hold serve on its home court.
"We talked about that [Saturday] morning at shoot-around and before the game. We've got to find a way to crank that motor back up. I thought they played hard, but sometimes there's a difference between playing hard and playing with really good intensity. I think we were a little lack in our intensity, maybe," Criswell said.
Criswell credited the hustle plays from Carson Culverhouse for lifting the team up anytime Woodland (1-11, 0-7 Region 7-AAAAA) tried to make a push on Saturday, as the senior guard finished with a game-high 16 points, nine rebounds and eight steals.
"Carson just plays so hard. He just brings it every game, he brings that motor out there and kind of gets everybody else going. He's not going to take one off," Criswell said. "He's going to have his motor running hard every time we step out there. I think his intensity and his effort helps everybody else get going in those kind of games."
Carrollton (9-7, 5-2) stormed out to a 22-9 lead through one quarter of play and led 34-20 at the half, but turnovers became an issue in the third quarter where the Wildcats used an 8-0 run to pull within 37-30.
The Trojans held an 11-point edge entering the fourth quarter and never allowed the visitors to get it back down to single digits with the 8-0 spurt in the closing minutes sealing the deal.
"They may have got a little tired, too. I think our continuous pressure may have bothered them a little bit down the stretch," Criswell said. "Trevon [Reddish] went in there and made a couple of buckets. He got the ball on the block and scored two or three times there right at the end and kind of got us away from them."
Along with the strong showing from Culverhouse, Carrollton also got double-digit scoring efforts from Marcellious Lockett with 13 points and Reddish, who posted 11 points with six rebounds and three assists. Tim Green added eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and freshman Melvin Edwards provided a nice boost off the bench with six points and five rebounds to help fill the void of Jorel Spear and Tyler Harper being sidelined.
The Trojans hit the road next week for a trip to Rome on Tuesday and a date with Paulding County on Friday before hosting Kell on Saturday in a rematch of Friday night's thriller in Marietta.
"We'll see how it goes. [Woodland] came in with a little different game plan than when we jumped them up there. I'm sure Rome's going to be the same thing," Criswell said. "We've got to be able to adapt and turn it on knowing we're playing somebody we've beat pretty good before. We're excited, though. We feel like we're getting it going in the right direction."
Story by Corey Cusick
Reprinted from Times-Georgian