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South Carroll boys basketball feeling ‘fortunate,’ rolls past Francis Scott Key

Karson Pavlik said he and his South Carroll High School teammates and coaches are grateful to have gotten this far into the 2021 boys basketball season.

The Cavaliers played their ninth game in hosting Francis Scott Key on Wednesday, and despite a choppy start they took control in the first half and cruised to a 49-26 victory. South Carroll ran its record to 6-3 in winning its only game of the week, but is gearing up for four contests next week to wrap up the season.

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Bring it on, said Pavlik and SC coach Jim Carnes.

“Coach is always telling us, play every game like it’s your last, because we never know,” said Pavlik, who led the Cavs with 11 points and six rebounds. “We’ve been fortunate to get a lot more games in than other teams.”

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South Carroll outscored FSK 16-3 in the second quarter to take hold of the momentum, and leaned on its defense all night. The Eagles (4-4) committed 13 turnovers and didn’t get too many second-chance looks on offense. Pavlik netted six points and sank a 3-pointer during that second-quarter surge, and the Cavaliers led 27-10 at halftime.

“Defense won the game in the first half,” said Carnes, who also praised his players for working the ball around the perimeter and going inside on offense instead of relying on one player to take over. “We play better like that. We started out early [in the year] shooting real well from the outside ... [but then it was] too much pass and shoot. When we get in the paint we’re a lot better. We’ve got some guys who can score in there.”

Francis Scott Key's Elijah Harris, left, blocks a shot by South Carroll's Nate Boorer but is called for a foul, initiating contact with the body on the play as well, during a boys basketball game at South Carroll High School on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.
Francis Scott Key's Elijah Harris, left, blocks a shot by South Carroll's Nate Boorer but is called for a foul, initiating contact with the body on the play as well, during a boys basketball game at South Carroll High School on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Ryan Rill, Key’s leading scorer coming into the game, had six points in the first quarter but didn’t score again. The Eagles compounded their struggles by missing 12 of 16 free-throws along the way.

Pavlik was the only player in double-figures, but Alex Warehime added eight points, four rebounds, and two assists for the Cavaliers.

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South Carroll starts next week with a home game Monday against Liberty (5-2), then visits Century (5-1) on Wednesday. The Cavs get the Lions again Feb. 11 before closing out the season Feb. 12 at Manchester Valley.

South Carroll head coach Jim Carnes gives instruction to his player Chase Fowlble (4) during a boys basketball game against Francis Scott Key at South Carroll High School on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.
South Carroll head coach Jim Carnes gives instruction to his player Chase Fowlble (4) during a boys basketball game against Francis Scott Key at South Carroll High School on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Carnes said the Cavaliers have been performing well thanks to intense practices throughout the last month.

“Honestly, practice is harder than games,” the coach said. “We get after each other. It’s been fun. I’m so thankful that we’ve got in the number of games that we’ve gotten in. It’s been important to these guys.”

Francis Scott Key (27): Logan Milstreed 4, Elijah Harris 4, Jackson Sutkaytis 4, Nick Diehl 1, Bryce Zepp 1, Ryan Rill 6, Austin Schemm 1, Liam McGrath 6.

South Carroll (49): Owen Scott 5, Alex Warehime 8, Caleb Eddins 6, Colin Maynard 6, Karson Pavlik 11, Aidan Greaney 6, Nate Boorer 2, Tucker Eckert 5.

Halftime: SC, 27-10.

JV result: SC, 53-26.

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