Carroll County got off to a blazing start but Gallatin County cooled the Panthers down the rest of the way and came away with a 68-59 win in the semifinals of the All “A” Classic Eighth Region Tournament at Trimble County on Thursday night.

The Panthers were red hot out of the gate. Keishaun Mumphrey opened with four of the team’s first six points as Carroll started the game on a 10-0 run and led 14-5 with 3:31 remaining in the period but that’s when Gallatin called a timeout and regrouped from there. The Wildcats ended the quarter on a 9-0 run that tied the game, using two free throws by Jarin Rassman, a 3-pointer from Troy Coomer and four points by Lukas McEntire.

“They called a timeout ... it’s the same thing that happened to us on Friday night,” Carroll head coach Brian Crank said of a similar situation that was key in the Panthers’ 69-68 loss to Gallatin last Friday. “Friday they called a timeout in the fourth quarter and they came out and beat us after it. Their kids calmed down after it tonight and once again it hurt us.”

David Duncan scored three points early in the second quarter and Carroll regained the lead 19-16 but it would prove to be the final time the Panthers held an advantage and Gallatin struck again. Devin McAllister drilled a three that sparked an 11-2 run and Coomer again aided, scoring eight points that allowed the Wildcats a 30-21 cushion and eventually a 34-27 margin at halftime.

The Panthers were not only suffering from some inconsistency in the second quarter, but were also forced to play without forward Trevor Sandusky for the final 6:56 of the first half after he was sent to the bench with his third foul. His absence allowed Gallatin much more room to work with on the inside and the result was either easy baskets or numerous trips to the free throw line.

“We got in a funk where we just quit taking care of the ball and when we did we didn’t take our shots,” Crank said. “Can’t argue with our effort because we had some guys come in that are inexperienced but gave us good minutes but we’ve got to play our game. Trevor (Sandusky) does something nobody else on our team can do and that’s clog up the middle. When we lost that, we just weren’t as intimidating on the inside as we needed to be. We definitely missed that in the second quarter.”

Gallatin (12-4) spent the third quarter and early portion of the fourth opening the game up as the lead blossomed. Rassman scored six points and a 10-0 run allowed for a 47-31 advantage early in the third which was the largest lead of the night. The double-digit stranglehold continued into the fourth period and the Wildcats led by 12 points with 2:25 remaining.

But the effort Crank spoke of allowed for the Panthers to remain a threat and the deficit dwindled quickly. Trailing by the 12-point margin again with only 1:46 left, Mumphrey’s basket was followed by Justin Williams’ bucket underneath. A steal on the inbounds pass freed up Duncan for a wide-open three that he buried and suddenly the game stood at 64-59 with 40 seconds to go.

The Wildcats, however, answered as Carroll was forced to foul. Coomer calmly stepped to the line and sank four consecutive free throws to hold the Panthers at-bay and stretching the margin back out to nine points by the end of the game.

“Our guys didn’t quit,” Crank added. “In years past we may not have been able to put ourselves in that spot late in the fourth quarter. Third year here in the program and our guys know what is expected of them. It’s starting to become automatic for our guys. The effort tonight was just tremendous.”

Carroll shot 53 percent from the field as Duncan led the way with 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Mumphrey, also a 50 percent shooter on the night, recorded a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Gallatin shot 46 percent from the field but 10 made 3-pointers was a difference maker, especially during the second and third quarters when the Wildcats gained control of the game.

Coomer led all scorers with 21 points, shooting 5-of-8 from the 3-point line and knocking down five free throws. Rassman and Hayden Dickerson each scored 12 points while Bryant Caldwell added 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.

Carroll (8-7) hosts Owen County on Monday night. The Panthers, who have lost four of their last five games, defeated Owen 67-55 back on Dec. 6.

———

ALL “A” CLASSIC 8TH REGION

Semifinals

at Bedford, Ky.

GALLATIN CO. 68, CARROLL CO. 59



CARROLL CO. 14 13 15 17 — 59

GALLATIN CO. 14 20 18 16 — 68



CARROLL CO. (8-7) — (g)Duncan 18, (f)Mumphrey 17, Sandusky 7, (f)Butcher 7, (g)Williams 4, (g)Lacefield 3, Carter 3, Rivers 0, Strickland 0, Furnish 0.

GALLATIN CO. (12-4) — (g)Coomer 21, (g)Dickerson 12, (g)Rassman 12, (f)Caldwell 11, McAllister 6, McEntire 4, Sullivan 2, (g)Bowen 0, Terrell 0.



3-Point Goals — Carroll 2 (Duncan 1, Lacefield 1), Gallatin 10 (Coomer 5, Dickerson 3, McAllister 1, Caldwell 1). Rebounds — Carroll 24 (Mumphrey 10), Gallatin 25 (Rassman 7, Coomer 7). Assists — Carroll 12 (Williams 6), Gallatin 0. Turnovers — Carroll 15, Gallatin 10. Total Fouls — Carroll 20, Gallatin 16. Free Throws — Carroll 7-14, Gallatin 16-19. Fouled Out — Carroll: Mumphrey.