ATTACKING: Carroll County’s Jay Damron (with ball) slashes to the basket against Villa Madonna’s Randy Lund. (Staff photo by David Hill)
ATTACKING: Carroll County’s Jay Damron (with ball) slashes to the basket against Villa Madonna’s Randy Lund. (Staff photo by David Hill)
Carroll County opened its 2012-13 season on a winning note, 59-51 over Villa Madonna Tuesday in Carrollton.

"We came out really sharp at the beginning - we were playing really well," Carroll County head coach Carroll Yager said. "They beat us in the second half, but even though we got away from what we were doing, we didn't give up the lead."

Dallas Gibson and Trey Boles, who led the Panthers in scoring with 17 and 13 points, respectively, got the game off to a good start. Boles scored nine first quarter points and Gibson, six. Carroll owned a 19-8 advantage at the first quarter break.

As the second quarter progressed, Gibson added another six points and Dakota Corbin and Jacob Wise contributed points. Carroll County held a 31-19 lead at halftime.

"They got a bit closer toward halftime," Yager said. "Two of our key people (Boles and Brandon Stewart) were on the bench with two early fouls."

The Panthers seemed to play well with whoever entered the game, and that's something that made Yager pretty happy.

"We were playing very well together tonight. I thought our passing was very good, especially toward the end," he said.

Villa Madonna seemed to gain more confidence as the game progressed and cut deeply into the lead as the third quarter wore on. The Blue Lightning cut the deficit to just four (38-34) on a three-point play by Thomas Steinkoenig with 1:27 remaining. However, Carroll answered with three more baskets toward the end of the period to go back up by 10 at 44-34 with a quarter to play.

Carroll County's Jay Damron and Austin Crowell were key factors in the second half - especially in the fourth period - as they combined for seven clutch free throws down the stretch.

Villa Madonna pulled to within as close as five late in the game, but the Panthers' passing and ability to find the open man dashed any hopes of a Lightning comeback.

Boles had a pair of key buckets in the final frame, as did Damron and Wise.

"I thought we played with a lot of confidence, both on defense and at the line," Yager said. "When we're really focused, we play pretty good."

The Panthers remain at home for their next contest when they host border rival Trimble County on Thursday.

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Tuesday's Boys Boxscore

at Carrollton

CARROLL CO. 59, VILLA MADONNA 51



VILLA MADONNA 8 11 15 17 - 51

CARROLL CO. 19 12 13 15 - 59



VILLA MADONNA (0-1) - (g)Smith 14, (g)Piccirillo 12, (f)Phelps 10, (f)VonHandorf 9, (f)Steinkoenig 6, Hillenmeyer 0, Baugh 0, Lund 0.

CARROLL CO. (1-0) - (f)Gibson 17, (f)Boles 13, Damron 9, (g)Crowell 8, (c)Corbin 6, Wise 4, (g)Stewart 2, Adams 0.



3-Point Goals - Villa Madonna 2 (Piccirillo 1, VonHandorf 1), Carroll Co. 1 (Boles 1). Total Fouls - Villa Madonna 17, Carroll Co. 16. Free Throws - Villa Madonna 15-21, Carroll Co. 20-26. Fouled Out - Villa Madonna:Steinkoenig. Carroll Co.: Stewart. Next Game - Villa Madonna hosts Dixie Heights Friday. Carroll Co. hosts Trimble Co. Thursday.