Cold-shooting Carey falls to Colonel Crawford in big N10 showdown

CAREY — After seeing a three-point deficit turn into a 12-point deficit at halftime, things only got worse for Carey.

The Blue Devils went through a stretch making just 1 of 24 shots.

Meanwhile, Cameron McCreary led four Colonel Crawford players in double digits as the Eagles rolled to a 68-53 Northern 10 Athletic Conference win on Thursday.

“I thought my guys responded,” Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon said. “It was tough the last three days after the way we played at Upper Sandusky (68-54 loss) on Saturday night. We had a little bit more of an attitude when we stepped on the floor tonight and you have to do that on the road in this league.”

A bucket by Hayden Stone drew Carey (10-3, 6-3 N10) to within 28-25 with 3:48 left in the second quarter, but that was when things got bleak for the Blue Devils. Harley Shaum and Jordan Fenner scored for the Eagles (11-2, 8-1) before Stone nailed two free throws.

Later, a score by Reis Walker, two free throws by McCreary, and a 3-pointer by McCreary helped Colonel Crawford to a 41-29 lead at halftime.

“In the first half, we gave up some easy transition buckets,” Carey coach Jamie Young said. “Their big man was running the lane and Cam was able to find them. He is a great point guard and a great passer.”

Shaum scored consecutive buckets out of the intermission to increase the lead. Carey’s first points of the quarter came on two Cody Luzader free throws with 4:38 left in the quarter. That ended a 5:04 scoreless drought, and a run of 11 straight points for Colonel Crawford.

That did not faze the Eagles though. Brody Martin hit a trey, and Fenner scored twice more, forcing Young into a timeout, down 52-31.

“I thought in the second and third quarters, we defended,” Sheldon said. “We talk that you have to get stops. Tonight, we got stops in the second and third quarters. We finished possessions by getting rebounds. We were able to get out and run.”

Trey Bame hit a 3 out of the timeout, ending a stretch where Carey went 6:31 without a field goal, missing 13 straight shots.

“Shots didn’t fall for us,” Young said. “This is probably the third game in a row where we really didn’t shoot well from the outside. For the last three years, that’s been a staple of our offense. Cody and Trey didn’t shoot well at all outside. It snowballed in that quarter.”

That was the only bucket the Blue Devils hit in the third quarter. Shaum and Fenner each made two free throws to give Colonel Crawford a 56-34 lead after three quarters.

McCreary leads the Eagles in scoring, entering the game averaging 17.2 points per contest. But, four of the five Colonel Crawford starters — McCreary, Fenner, Martin and Shaum — were all over double digits by the end of the third quarter.

“In that third quarter, we gave up easy buckets,” Young said. “They got real easy buckets and our defense wasn’t standing tough. They did a good job in the first half of trying to attack Hayden Stone inside. They’re a well-coached team.”

Shaum scored off an offensive rebound to open the fourth quarter. A stone jumper ended a stretch where Carey made just 1 of 24 shots.

Stone was the bright spot for the Blue Devils. The 6-foot-7 sophomore tallied a big double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds. Bame hit three 3s for nine points while Luzader finished with seven points. Bame and Luzader are always concerns for opposing coaches.

“We had opportunities and they found easy ways to score,” Young said. “Sometimes we had to work hard to get buckets and they were able to find easy ways to get buckets. We knew they were going to do that. We just didn’t execute on defense.”

McCreary tallied 20 points — 18 of which came in the first half. Shaum added 16 points and five rebounds, Fenner scored 12 points and Martin had 11 points.

“The last time we played them, (McCreary) took advantage of us going to the basket,” Young said. “Our plan was to play in the gaps off of him and stay back around the 3-point line. Last time, we pressured him.”

Colonel Crawford has now won three of the last four meetings against Carey, including a 71-56 win earlier this season. It is, however, the Eagles’ first win at Carey since January 2015.