Carroll County’s Trey Boles (above, 11) and Jay Damron battle with Trimble County’s Dusty Wyssbrod for a rebound during Tuesday’s game in Bedford. Boles, who scored 24 points, drives for a basket ahead of Trimble’s Ethan Merrill (below). Merrill scored a game-high 25 points. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Carroll County’s Trey Boles (above, 11) and Jay Damron battle with Trimble County’s Dusty Wyssbrod for a rebound during Tuesday’s game in Bedford. Boles, who scored 24 points, drives for a basket ahead of Trimble’s Ethan Merrill (below). Merrill scored a game-high 25 points. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Trimble County threw open its doors to Carroll County senior Dallas Gibson in an act of sportsmanship not often seen by high school rivals. The Raiders just wish they weren't as generous with Gibson's teammates.

Carroll County trailed by 11 in the third quarter but rallied to outscore Trimble 16-4 in the fourth and pull away for the 73-65 win.

Gibson, who tore his right ACL just after the New Year, got a chance to join the 1,000-point club by shooting seven uncontested layups at the start of Tuesday's North Central Kentucky Conference game in Bedford.

It was a unique opportunity made possible thanks to the relationship between Gibson and Trimble coach John Leep III, who coached Gibson in middle school. And it was one that Gibson thought he would never get.

"It was exciting. I'm just glad Johnny gave me a chance to do this. It means a lot to my family, to me, to my coaches and my teammates," said Gibson, who still leads the Courierarea in scoring at 19.0 points per game. "I didn't think it would work out this way. I didn't expect to get hurt. I expected to score my thousand points like a normal player would. I didn't expect this at all but it's still an exciting moment. I'm glad I got to experience this."

"I've known Dallas since he was 7 or 8 years old. He was always that kid at basketball camp that wanted to show you what he learned," said Leep, who graduated from and starred at Carroll County High School. "Don't get me wrong, I've been a big critic of Dallas a lot of times. I was always on him hard. But he always played hard for me. My ability to get this job over here (at Trimble) is because of players like him and the seniors. So when one of them calls me and asks me to do something for them I'll do whatever I can."

Leep and Carroll County coach Carroll Yager cut a deal before the game to allow Gibson to get his 1,000 points but not put Trimble County at a disadvantage.

The host Raiders won the tip and Ethan Merrill shot seven uncontested layups to give Trimble an early 14-0 lead. The ball then switched sides with Gibson mirroring the feat as fans cheered.

"It was kind of nerve-wracking. I felt a little bit of pressure," Gibson said. "I didn't want to miss one."

"I really, really appreciate Trimble County and their willingness to do this," Yager said. "This has been a rivalry that I can personally remember for 50 years. But even though it's a rivalry, both counties like each other. This is a great thing coach Leep did. I think it was a class act and my hat's off to Trimble County and coach Leep."

Moments after the milestone basket, which came at the 7:10 mark of the first quarter, an injury timeout was called and Gibson got hugs from teammates and opponents alike as he went to the bench before play resumed.

With emotions running high on both sides, the rest of the first half was played at break-neck pace. Merrill scored the first true basket of the game and Carroll County's Patrick Booth answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Panthers a 20-16 lead.

There were very few possessions by either team that did not result in points over the first two quarters. The Raiders were white-hot from behind the arc, hitting nine treys in the first 16 minutes as Trimble took a 53-46 halftime lead.

"We were just hoping we could get that spigot turned off," Yager said of Trimble's outside shooting. "We really didn't feel all that bad about the way we played in the first half. We actually thought we played pretty well. So we were encouraged."

Evan Long and Andrew Young each hit 3-pointers in the third quarter to help Trimble build its largest lead of the game, 59-48, with 3:46 left in the third quarter. As it turned out, the Raiders would score only six more points for the rest of the game as Carroll came roaring back.

Trey Boles got the Carroll comeback started with a 3-pointer of his own and, after a Dusty Wyssbrod basket for Trimble, Boles, Jacob Wise and Booth closed the third with three-straight buckets to cut the Raider lead to 61-57.

Michael Dunaway opened the fourth with a layup for Trimble but Carroll scored the next 12 points to not only go back on top, but also seize control of the game.

Robbie Brooks stopped the run for the Raiders with a basket with 1:52 left in the game but Trimble didn't score again. The Raiders took five shots at the basket from long-range in the final two minutes and missed them all.

"I don't want to make excuses but we're a young team and when we got down we didn't respond well," Leep said. "Carroll is a veteran team and they made the plays when they needed them to."

Boles finished with 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting to lead Carroll but he also had a game-high 13 rebounds. It was the kind of performance that Yager has come to expect from his senior.

"Ever since Dallas went down Trey has taken it upon himself to take over," Yager said. "He has upped his game in all areas and is really playing well."

Five different players reached double figures in scoring for Carroll, including Gibson who finished with 14 points - still almost six below his average. Brandon Stewart had 11 points, Booth scored 10 to go with five rebounds and Jacob Wise had 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Merrill led Trimble with 25 points - 14 in the opening points swap with Gibson - but he was shut out in the second half. Young added 12 for the Raiders who shot 44 percent from the floor (25-for-57) but got to the free-throw line only four times.

Six-foot-five freshman center Michael Dunaway battled foul trouble and finished with just six points for the Raiders. Leep said that hitting shots was difficult without his big man in the middle.

"Michael is a big part of what we do and without him out there we had trouble," Leep said. "We like to go inside then back out but without him, we were just going outside to outside. It's easier to hit threes when he's in there."

Both teams play road games later in the week. Trimble heads to North Oldham on Thursday while Carroll visits Grant County on Friday.



at Bedford, Ky.


CARROLL CO. 30 16 11 16 - 73

TRIMBLE CO. 33 20 8 4 - 65

CARROLL CO. (13-8, 3-2 NCKC) - (f)Boles 24, (c)Gibson 14, (g)Stewart 11, (f)Booth 10, Wise 10, Adams 4, (g)Damron 0, Hogan 0.

TRIMBLE CO. (13-7, 1-4 NCKC) - (f)Merrill 25, (g)Young 12 (g)Long 9, (g)Brooks 7, (f)Dunaway 6, Wyssbrod 6, Creech 0, Taylor 0.

3-Point Goals - Carroll Co. 3 (Booth 2, Boles 1), Trimble Co. 11 (Young 4, Long 3, Merrill 3, Brooks 1). Rebounds - Carroll Co. 35 (Boles 13), Trimble Co. 24 (Dunaway 7). Assists - Carroll Co. 13 (Wise 4, Damron 4), Trimble Co. 13 (Brooks 7). Turnovers - Carroll Co. 18, Trimble Co. 18. Total Fouls - Carroll Co. 11, Trimble Co. 14. Free Throws - Carroll Co. 8-13, Trimble Co. 4-4. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Carroll Co. visits Grant Co. Friday. Trimble Co. visits North Oldham Thursday.