WARSAW, Ky. - Despite having two players lost to injury and three others to illness, Carroll County still played a close game with Gallatin County before coming up short 50-41 Friday in Warsaw.

The Panthers were already playing without senior point guard Brandon Stewart (arm) and having just lost senior forward Dallas Gibson (knee) in the Panthers' last game - both now gone for the season. Carroll was then dealt a further blow when flu swept through the remainder of the team this week.

The Panthers still played tight with the district-leading Wildcats throughout the game before falling by nine.

"It's always tough to beat Gallatin County at Gallatin County. They certainly have a great home court record," Carroll County coach Carroll Yager said. "I thought we did a lot of things well tonight considering we were playing without what would be two starters. One thing that hurt us was Gallatin had 16 offensive rebounds. That's one of the spots we really missed Dallas. Some of our other people will have to grab some rebounds."

It was a tight first quarter as Gallatin (9-4, 1-0 North Central Kentucky) dominated the glass, getting 13 rebounds to the Panthers' four. Seven of the 13 were offensive and Caleb Beckham hit a couple late 3-pointers for a 10-6 lead.

Carroll (8-5, 1-1 NCKC) kept changing up the defense in the first half and that caused trouble for the Wildcats. Whether it was a zone, man-to-man or box-and-one, the Wildcats had trouble making shots. They were 8-of-28 (28 percent) in the first half but still managed to have a 20-15 halftime lead thanks in part to the offensive rebounds.

"We were hoping to change up defenses and keep them off balance. We tried to keep some that were a success, then if they scored switched it up," Yager said. "We've been a pretty good defensive team throughout the year. It really kept us in the game."

The Panthers pulled to within 21-19 at the 7:15 mark of the third quarter but Gallatin answered with a 10-4 run over the next few minutes to go ahead 31-23 with 1:20 left in the third. Gallatin led 33-27 after three quarters.

Trey Boles and Patrick Booth combined for 12 of the Panthers' 14 points in the fourth as Carroll kept the game close. Boles finished with a game-high 15 points on 5-of-8 from the field and Booth had 10 points.

"Trey has been a pretty consistent scorer," Yager said. "He's been averaging 13, 14 points a game so that was a good night for him. Now Patrick's getting more minutes. For him to come in and get 10 points tonight that's good. I thought Isaiah Hogan did a pretty good job for us.

"Some of the player's roles are going to change little bit as we play without two of our top five players," Yager said. "We are going to need players to step up and score a little bit more than they have been. That was good for Patrick and Trey. Those two are bright spots."

The teams exchanged buckets in the fourth quarter with neither one getting an edge. The Panthers did pull to within 40-38 with 2:20 left in the game but were never able to get over the hump as the Wildcats forced turnovers and hit their free throws down the stretch to secure their first conference win of the season and defeat the Panthers for the 12th-straight time.

"You hold them to 50 points, you have a chance to win. We had a chance at the end," Yager said. "Their pressure defense hurt us a little bit and forced us into some turnovers that they capitalized on. The big thing I think was the offensive rebounds. They had 16 offensive rebounds and that was a huge difference right there."

Gallatin was led by Kristian Morgan's 13 points. He was 4-of-13 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Nick Brown added 12-points as he finished 5-of-6 shooting. Tyler Herndon had six points and nine rebounds.

"Even though players have been injured, I don't think their goals have changed for this team. I'm real proud of them," Yager said. "This is a tough opponent we wish we could have won. We're going to build on this and improve as we go forward. I think we have a lot of character, a lot of heart. I anticipate we are going to keep fighting and working and continue to get better."

Carroll County hosts Evangel Christian on Monday.



at Warsaw, Ky.


CARROLL CO. 6 9 12 14 - 41

GALLATIN CO. 10 10 13 17 - 50

CARROLL CO. (8-5, 2-3 District, 1-1 NCKC) - (g)Boles 15, Booth 10, Hogan 5, (g)Damron 4, (g)Wise 3, (c)Corbin 2, (g)Crowell 2.

GALLATIN CO. (9-4, 4-1 District, 1-0 NCKC) - (g)Morgan 13, (g)N. Brown 12, Beckham 8, (g)Carlton 6, (g)Herndon 6, Chapman 3, (g)Sargeant 2, McCubbin 0, Wesley 0.

3-Point Goals - Carroll 2 (Booth 1, Hogan 1), Gallatin 6 (Beckham 2, Carlton 2, N. Brown 1, Morgan 1). Rebounds - Carroll 20 (Corbin 8), Gallatin 35 (Herndon 9). Assists - Carroll 5 (Damron 3), Gallatin 5 (Morgan 2). Turnovers - Carroll 17, Gallatin 14. Total Fouls - Carroll 14, Gallatin 15. Free Throws - Carroll 9-12, Gallatin 8-17. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Carroll hosts Evangel Christian Monday. Gallatin hosts Eminence Monday.