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Boys basketball: Dotson leads Martin past Carroll
By Justin Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Arlington Martin outscored Carroll's boys basketball team, 31-23, in the second half Feb.19 as the Warriors pulled away for a 65-51 win in a bi-district round contest at Saginaw.
"It was just a good high school basketball game," said Eric McDade, Carroll head coach. "It was back-and-forth and was a very physical game. Our kids battled the whole game, but it was a game of runs and [Martin] had the last one."'
Martin went on to defeat Odessa Permian in the second round, 63-36, and will face El Paso Bel Air Tuesday (results not available as of press time) for a spot in the Region I Tournament this weekend in Fort Worth.
Carroll led, 19-17, after the first quarter but trailed at the break, 34-28. The Dragons pulled to within six in the third quarter at 47-41 before the Warriors closed strong.
"We jumped on them pretty good in the first quarter," McDade said. "They were shooting well and we were playing pretty well, too. We got it down to about eight in the fourth quarter too, but they made some baskets and we had to go into foul mode."
McDade added the squad knew the importance of the game with a contest against Permian potentially looming.
"We knew it was huge," he said. "Our area is very strong and if we could have beaten Martin, we would have had a chance to get to regionals."
Andrew Dotson scored 22 points for Martin, while Daniel Brown paced Carroll with 14 points and Brett Jolly had 10.
"Grant played like a man," McDade said. "Our seniors all year did a great job having not been in the situation before. Guys like Brett and Daniel, and Spencer (Tietjen) and Josh (Zabransky) really bought in and led us."
Next season, Carroll returns 7-of-14 varsity players.
"We have guys back and the best thing about our system is that if you are on varsity, you are going to play a lot," McDade said. "They're logging minutes and the experience we have back has laid a good foundation moving forward."
Carroll will also bring up players from its junior varsity and freshman teams. This year, the JV team went 25-5, while the freshman squad went 28-1.
"We have some talented guys coming up and the sky is the limit," McDade said.
If the squad continues with the work ethic they had this season, McDade believes the team will take even more strides.
"I don't want to take anything away from the other teams I coached," he said, "but this is right up there with the most enjoyable of seasons I have had. Our guys worked hard, had great attitudes and we were successful on and off of the court. We just didn't win it all, but only one team gets to say that each year."
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