Carey cements hold on top spot in MAL

CAREY – There wasn’t a single player or a single thing that put Carey over the top against Old Fort in a game between Midland Athletic League unbeatens.

Instead, the Blue Devils were strong in just about every aspect Friday night, and the result was a 58-26 win over the Stockaders, one that kept the Blue Devils in sole possession of first place in the league.

Carey (15-1, 7-0 MAL) was paced offensively by three players – Shelby Kin, Ali Rymer and Logan Johnson, all of whom scored 12 points.

On defense, the Carey pressure was too much for the Stockaders, who fell to 12-4, 5-1.

“We aren’t as quick as them, but I feel our kids move their feet and they work hard,” Carey coach Phil Vaughn said. “They get into gaps. (Old Fort’s) shooters, although they are good shooters, are a little shorter so we felt like we could back off of them a little bit, still contest them and not give up dribble drive. So we tried to back off the ball another half a step, and still stay out in the passing lanes a little bit and pressure them.”

It worked, especially in the early going, as the Stockaders turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter and eight times in the second. The Blue Devils were able to turn many of those miscues into easy baskets.

The result was a big first half lead that grew as the game continued. Carey led 17-6 at the first stop and 30-11 at the break.

“I don’t think we came out tonight and did what we typically do,” Old Fort coach Jenny Miller said. “We slowed down, we held the ball. We didn’t attack at times. Our post got out to running a little bit, and we forced those passes, which we normally don’t. But that’s what a good defense does. A good defense causes you to do things you normally don’t.”

Carey had a major size advantage coming in. Old Fort has only one player – Sam Hartsel – who is listed taller than 5-foot-8. Carey has four.

“Certainly, we knew they had one good-sized, height-sized player that could match up with us,” Vaughn said. “If we could just move some players around and get us with a smaller player on our back, even our guards, if we could get them down low sometimes, we could get them in a mismatch.”

There also was an experience differential. Old Fort has no seniors on its roster. Carey has eight.

“I don’t like to use the excuse that we’re young or anything,” Miller said. “Because it doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re a competitor, you come out and compete anytime …, you’ve got to be ready.

“But there’s been some games where you can tell the junior-senior mentality, where it really takes over,” Miller said. “And we’re working towards that, and there’s been games where we have showed – like against Hopewell-Loudon – where that mental edge, we really rose up.”

Old Fort was led by Alli Adelsperger, who had seven points, and by Morgan Magers, who had six rebounds.

Carey was led in boards by Rymer, who had seven, and Johnson, who had six.

The Blue Devils got seven points each from Makenzie Wentling and Hannah Draper.