Carey rolls to win over H-L

CAREY – First there was no basket. Then there was one.

Was. Wasn’t. Sort of.

Nearly 10 minutes were required for the officials to determine a single play near the end of the first half between Hopewell-Loudon and Carey here Friday night.

In the final analysis, a field goal no one originally acknowledged was suddenly granted for H-L’s Ryan Lommerse. And a made free throw by Lommerse originally acknowledged by everyone was suddenly disallowed.

However controversial the play was, stats like the Chieftains’ 28 turnovers and Carey’s 16-for-18 success at the foul line had a much bigger impact as the Blue Devils posted a 61-47 Midland Athletic League win.

“We challenged the kids at halftime about how this is a pivotal part of our season,” Carey coach C.J. Kin said after his club improved to 9-2 overall and 4-1 in the MAL. “We lost two last weekend and if you want to stay in the league race this year, you’ve got to keep winning and I thought we responded pretty well there in the third and fourth quarters.”

That response resulted in a pair of 19-point quarters for the Blue Devils compared to 19 total second-half points for the Chieftains, who fell to 6-6 and 2-3.

Carey’s 2-2-1-zone press worked the Chieftains for nine turnovers in the first period and 15 through the midway point of the second. At the other end, Justin Meek scored seven points, Zach Boes six and Jared Wentling four in a 21-11 start.

But just as quickly, Hopewell-Loudon turned it around, beginning with Lommerse’s 3-point goal. He had a couple other hoops and Tyler Imes powered for eight points.

“We got the ball into our bigs a couple times there,” H-L coach Adam Smith said. “If they had a rule where you weren’t allowed to press, we win this game because our bigs were dominant inside.

“In the scheme of things, we did what we wanted to do in large chunks,” he said. “But in the short time that we didn’t, it got ugly in a hurry.”

The Chieftains finished the half with a 17-2 run that produced a 28-23 lead at the break.

The last of those points came with 56 seconds left when Lommerse worked inside and was fouled by Carey’s Corbin Blair. Lommerse missed one free throw and hit the second. That had Smith off the bench to argue a point.

“I thought (the foul) was on the floor, so I assumed he was shooting one-and-one,” Smith said. “When he missed the first, I turned to my assistant coach and asked, ‘Did they call that a shooting foul?’ He said yes, so I said that’s a good basket because he made the shot. It was late, but he made the shot.”

Ultimately, the ruling was a good basket and because the foul shot for what could have been a three-point play was missed, Carey was given the ball out of bounds.

The Chieftains maintained an edge through much of the third period behind Imes, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Lommerse, who had 15 points with seven boards. Season-long scoring leader Alec Gregg was limited to six points, but he had seven assists.

But Meek had all the counter moves for Carey. The senior guard scored 11 of his game-high 22 points in the third period. That included six points in the final 1:18 as he posted for a basket, scored off Boes’ steal and feed and then finished with two foul shots for a 42-39 Carey lead.

“I put a lot of pressure on him,” Kin said. “I got on him after New Riegel about not being real aggressive to the basket. Tonight, he went to the basket. In the second half, he really took over and that’s what he has to do to really solidify this team.”

The Blue Devils put on a big finish by hitting 6-of-9 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line.

Wentling had 15 points and six rebounds while Boes contributed 12 points, six boards and three assists for the winners.