BACKED UP: Carroll County’s Blake Kruzan (15) looks for a teammate to pass the ball to while being trapped in the corner by Calvary’s Riley Worstell during Thursday’s game in Carrollton. The Panthers had few issues come their way and rolled Calvary 69-20 in the opening game of the NAS Classic at home. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
BACKED UP: Carroll County’s Blake Kruzan (15) looks for a teammate to pass the ball to while being trapped in the corner by Calvary’s Riley Worstell during Thursday’s game in Carrollton. The Panthers had few issues come their way and rolled Calvary 69-20 in the opening game of the NAS Classic at home. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Carroll County shot over 50 percent from the floor and held a nearly 3-to-1 edge in rebounding to roll over winless Calvary Christian 69-20 in the opening round of the North American Stainless Classic on Thursday in Carrollton.

The host Panthers scored the first 12 points of the game and led 17-4 after the first quarter. The lead only grew from there and the final eight minutes were played with a running clock under the KHSAA's mercy rule.

For Carroll County head coach Carroll Yager, it was the perfect way to open the new year.

"We played really well," Yager said. "One of the things of ours that has been a strength is defense and (Calvary) just had a hard time scoring. We were able to get people in there and get them some minutes which will really help us down the road in our depth."

Twelve different players scored for Carroll County as Yager substituted liberally throughout the game. None of those, however, had a better game than sophomore Jackson "Boo" Donahue.

Donahue, a 5-foot-11 guard who was starting in place of an ill Austin Crowell, was 5-of-7 on 3-point attempts and finished with 17 points to lead the Panthers. Not only was the total a career-high for Donahue, it was four points more than he had scored all season combined up until that point.

"I was really happy to see Boo Donahue play like he did," Yager said. "We've seen that in practice but he hasn't been able to bring it in front of the crowd yet. That was big for him and hopefully that will carry over into games to come."

Carroll County (6-4) had little trouble in dominating all phases of the game. The Panthers hit 28-of-54 (52 percent) of their shots, including a sparkling 7-of-12 (58 percent) from long range and 6-of-8 (75 percent) from the free-throw line.

Carroll County also had 35 rebounds - 17 on the offensive end - to Calvary's 13. The Panthers had 22 assists on their 28 field goals with five each from Justin Ray, John Michael Adams and Isaiah Hogan.

Calvary Christian (0-7) meanwhile struggled mightily to mount any kind of attack. The Cougars hit just eight shots from the floor, going 8-for-38 overall (21 percent) including 0-of-16 from the arc. Calvary was also not credited with an assist while turning the ball over 13 times.

Carroll County's biggest quarter was the third. Crowell and Dakota Corbin, both under the weather, played their only minutes of the game in the third and helped lead the Panthers to a 23-4 advantage. The fourth quarter belonged to the bench.

Through it all, Yager was pleased that his team continued to run its offense rather than try to pad individual stats."

"I thought even when we got a significant lead the guys didn't go crazy; they stayed with what we were trying to do," Yager said. "I thought it was a good game for us period."

Jacob Wise added 14 points for Carroll County and was the only other Panther in double figures. Adams added 10 rebounds to his five assists and five points for a strong all-around game.

Carson Kaufman led Calvary with eight points. Zac Valandra added four.

Carroll County now advances to the semifinals today where it will face Spencer County (4-7). The Bears knocked off Lloyd Memorial (2-8) in the opening round. Lloyd will face Calvary in the consolation round.

In other first-round games, Henry County (11-2) defeated Ludlow 62-54 and Kentucky Country Day (7-3) knocked off the School for Creative Performing Arts (Ohio) 74-67. Henry County and KCD will play in today's other semifinal with Ludlow and SCPA facing off in the consolation round.

"I haven't had a chance to see Spencer County in person but I have a few films on them," Yager said. " They like to shoot the three so we'll have to be ready."

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NAS CLASSIC

at Carrollton, Ky.

CARROLL CO. 69, CALVARY CHRISTIAN 20



CALVARY 4 7 4 5 - 20

CARROLL 17 15 23 14 - 69



CALVARY (0-7) - (g)Kaufman 8, (c)Valandra 4, (g)Zint 3, (f)Varnado 2, (f)Worstell 2, Kalfas 1, Ousty 0, Howard 0.

CARROLL CO. (6-4) - (g)Donahue 17, (f)Wise 14, D. Corbin 9, Ray 5, (f)Adams 5, Evans 4, (g)Kruzan 4, (g)Hogan 4, Crowell 2, Ellis 2, Crank 2, Burns 1, Stewart 0, McMahan 0, Willhoite 0, M. Corbin 0.



3-Point Goals - Calvary 0, Carroll Co. 7 (Donahue 5, Ray 1, Adams 1). Rebounds - Calvary 13 (Varnado 5), Carroll Co. 35 (Adams 10). Assists - Calvary 0, Carroll Co. 22 (Ray 5, Adams 5, Hogan 5). Turnovers - Calvary 13, Carroll Co. 11. Total Fouls - Calvary 9, Carroll Co. 7. Free Throws - Calvary 4-11, Carroll Co. 6-8. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Both teams continue play in the NAS Classic today: Calvary faces Lloyd Memorial in the consolation round; Carroll Co. plays Spencer Co. in the semifinals.