By ANDY WOLF
CAREY — As a whole, Carey suffered an uncharacteristicallyoff shooting night.
Within that struggle was one of the coldest third-quarter stretches imaginable.
The Blue Devils made but one shot in 16 attempts and a talented Colonel Crawford team took full advantage in blowing the game open.
The Eagles won the quarter 15-5 and eventually posted a 68-53 Northern 10 Conference victory Thursday to sweep the season series against Carey.
“Shots didn’t fall from us,” Carey coach Jamie Young said. “It was probably the third game in a row where we didn’t shoot well from the outside and for the last three years that’s been a staple in our offense — our outside shooting.”
Sophomore Cameron McCreary notched 18 of his 20 points in the first half to help steer Colonel Crawford (11-2, 8-1 N10) to a half-game lead on Upper Sandusky (10-2, 7-1) in the N10 standings. The Rams didn’t play Thursday.
Colonel Crawford hadn’t played since a 68-54 road loss to Upper Sandusky on Saturday.
“I thought my guys responded,” Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon said. “The bald guy (Sheldon) was tough the last three days after the way we played at Upper Saturday night. We had a little bit more of an attitude when we stepped on the floor tonight and you’ve got to do that on the road in this league with the good teams.”
The Blue Devils dropped to 10-3, 6-3 in N10 play.
They fell 71-56 to the Eagles on Dec. 9 but even then shot a respectable 8 of 21 from 3-point range.
Carey finished just 6 of 25 from downtown Thursday, and 20 of 64 overall.
Blue Devils’ leading scorer Cody Luzader (15.5 points per game) buried five 3-pointers en route to 24 points the first time around against Colonel Crawford. He didn’t connect on any long-distance shots and only totaled seven points this time.
His classmate, Trey Bame, swished three 3-pointers for nine points.
“Two big credits go out to Cam and Brody (Martin) the way they shut down Bame and Luzader,” Sheldon said. “Those two senior guards are some of the best in our league and we talked about having a defensive attitude, holding them in single digits. That was very big with our defense tonight.”
The game was, otherwise, very clean in terms of execution as both teams committed just six turnovers apiece. The Eagles made three of theirs in the final two minutes once they mass-subbed in their subs.
It was also largely competitive until Colonel Crawford finished the second quarter on a 7-0 run to lead 41-29 at halftime.
The Blue Devils stayed within five points of the Eagles all the way up to that point, but missed their last five shots of the second quarter.
That dry spell extended into the third quarter with a bit of tough luck.
Luzader ended their scoreless period with a pair of free throws at the 4:38 mark, but by then, Colonel Crawford led 45-29.
Soon after, 6-foot-7 Carey sophomore Hayden Stone missed a point-blank lay-in and Luzader couldn’t connect on a 3-ball.
After Martin knocked in a three for the Eagles, Stone couldn’t get another shot in the paint to fall and Griffin Summit’s 3-pointer glanced off the rim.
Trey Bame finally canned a 3-pointer for Carey’s first field goal in nearly 8 minutes of game time, snapping a streak of 14 straight misses.
Even with the make, the Blue Devils collectively missed their next eight shots — five from 3-point range.
“I think they were a little hesitant as opposed to raising up and shooting it,” Young said of his shooters. “We started to push back and fight back in the fourth. I thought they shot with more confidence. We had balls rolling around the rim. They just didn’t fall.”
Stone backed Carey with game-highs of 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. Jordan Dasher came in late in the fourth quarter and scored eight points in the final two minutes.
Carey travels to Upper Sandusky on Friday, having already delivered them a 71-70 loss earlier this season.
A win would help the Blue Devils in a league title hunt that’s now out of their hands.
“We’re going to need some help, probably a miracle,” Young said. “For us to get back in the league, it’s going to be tough.
“… I don’t know if I see anybody beating both of (Colonel Crawford and Upper Sandusky) other than themselves.”
COLONEL CRAWFORD (11-2, 8-1 N10)
Walker 1-0–2, Fenner 5-2–12, McCreary 6-4–20, Martin 4-1–11, Feichtner 2-0–5, Shaum 6-4–16, Shull 1-0–2. TOTALS: 25-51 11-14–68.
CAREY (10-3, 6-3 N10)
Bame 3-0–9, Dasher 3-0–8, Stone 9-9–22, Luzader 2-3–7, Crawford 2-0–5, Summit 1-0–2. TOTALS: 20-64 7-11–53.
Colonel Crawford 19 22 15 12 — 68
Carey 17 12 5 19 — 48
3-Point GOALS: Colonel Crawford 7-14 (McCreary 4, Martin 2, Feichtner); Carey 6-25 (Bame 3, Dasher 2, Crawford).
rebounds: Colonel Crawford 27 (Feichtner 6); Carey 31 (Stone 11).
turnovers: Colonel Crawford 6, Carey 6.
junior varsity: Colonel Crawford, 47-46.
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By ANDY WOLF