In its final game of the Liberty High School Holiday Basketball Tournament, South Carroll fell behind early and Mount Hebron pulled away in the second half.
The Vikings used second-chance opportunities and aggressive defense to secure an 80-63 victory Friday.
Hebron’s Odell Dickerson had a quiet first half, scoring just four points, but in the third quarter he and the rest of the Vikings’ big men took control. Mount Hebron had a size advantage over the Cavaliers and exploited those matchups to gain second-chance scoring opportunities.
“The intensity was very good and we competed,” Cavs coach Jim Carnes said. “We got killed on the boards — sometimes we were playing four guards out there and against a team as big and skilled as they are. … Boxing out is what we’re supposed to do, but that’s easier said than done. When you’re [5-foot-11] playing against 6-4 it doesn’t matter how well you box out … but I thought we hung in there pretty well.”
Dickerson started taking the ball to the rim in the second half, and the results were immediate for Mount Hebron. Dickerson finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds, both good for game highs.
William Bates chipped in seven rebounds to go along with two blocks.
Timely outside shooting also aided the Vikings and helped them score at least 17 in each quarter, forcing the Cavaliers to constantly trail. Brandon Prox tallied 15 points for the Vikings and also ran the offense, distributing the ball to get better shots. Although three Vikings finished in double figures, 10 different players scored.
But South Carroll (3-4) had some sharp shooting of its own, notching 10 3-pointers for the night. Carson Scott led the way with 18 points and Mason Gavin added 11 points, both making three 3-point shots each. The outside shooting helped the Cavs stay within seven after two quarters, rallying after the Vikings took a double-digit lead a number of times during the second quarter.
Dylan Graham was held scoreless in the first quarter, but changed that for the remainder of the game with a lot of ball handling and passing while netting 17 points.
“It was a really fast-paced game so I decided to adjust a little bit to see what they were giving me and I started to look for easier shots and not force anything,” Graham said. “The constant defensive pressure for me was more of a mental thing, like having to wonder about who’s behind me and where everyone is … a lot of teams play that defense against us.”
Graham earned all-tournament honors for South Carroll.
The Vikings applied full-court pressure for the majority of the game and made it difficult for South Carroll to get into its offensive sets in a timely manner. Additionally many of the Cavs’ plays required multiple passes and cuts, which were also pressured by Mount Hebron and forced South Carroll into scoreless stretches.
“We have to get better, we turned the ball over some toward the end and the game got out of hand in the last four minutes, but I thought we hung in there pretty well,” said Carnes, whose team returns to action next Wednesday against county foe Century.
South Carroll (63): Carson Scott 18, Dylan Graham 17, Mason Gavin 11, Luke Anderson 8, Ryan Gallagher 6, Carter Chesney 3.
Mount Hebron (80): Odell Dickerson 25, Brandon Prox 15, Ryan Kinloch 11, Kobi Cump 7, Stevie Jackson 6, William Bates 5, Terrell Coleman 4, Christopher Lewis 3, Evan Ichrist 2, Matthew Miller 2.