2009-03-18 / Sports

North Miami knocks Carroll out of regional title chase

By Greg Hoffman Contributing sportswriter

Carroll (19-5) saw its record-breaking season come to an end Saturday in the opening game of the Class 2A Tipton Regional semi-final.

The 13th-ranked North Miami Warriors (19-6) handed the 14th-ranked Cougars a 63- 55 loss. North Miami's two big men were too much for Carroll as junior forward 6'5" Gary Miller scored 21 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and blocked 3 shots while center 6'7" Nolan Haynes had 18 points on 8 of 13 from the field and 7 rebounds. Carroll was out rebounded by the Warriors 38-25. The Spesard cousins led Carroll - Carson scored 19 points (his second highest of the season) and Adam finished with 14 points. They combined for 15 rebounds (Carson 8 and Adam 7).

North Miami took the early lead on a Miller three pointer. A. Spesard hit a pair of free throws and a lay-up by Noah Allen gave Carroll its only lead at 4-3. A Haynes put-back had North Miami back on top and the Warriors led 13-10 after one.

Carroll fell behind 17-10 before the team came back with a 7-0 run in the second quarter. Sophomore Allen hit for two and freshman Tim Ruby made a lay-up and three pointer to tie the game at 17. The Warriors came right back with an 18-7 run of their own to finish out the half with a 35-24 lead.

The Cougars were fortunate to be down by only 11 points. Even though North Miami had 10 turnovers in the half they were 13 of 22 (59%) from the field and had grabbed 22 rebounds to Carroll's six.

Carroll had made just 8 of 25 shots (32%) in the half. Foul trouble was also a factor as senior A. Spesard had three fouls and was limited to two field goal attempts for only two first half points. Primmer Zook and Allen led Carroll in scoring with 6 points each.

C. Spesard's 10-point third quarter helped Carroll stay with North Miami. The Warriors then opened the fourth quarter with a 7-2 run to build their biggest lead of the night at 18 points, 58-40. The Cougars came right back with a 10-2 run of their own with 1:54 left. A Spesard had 5 points, Ruby a trey and C. Spesard two points in the run. A. Spesard's trey pulled Carroll to within single digits at 9, 62-53, at 1:03, but the Cougars' comeback stalled the rest of the way.

Ruby had 8 points off the bench and Allen handed out 5 assists as Carroll was 20 of 57 (35%) from the field, 3 of 16 (18%) from three-point range, and 12 of 14 (86%) from the line. North Miami was 24 of 47 (51%) overall and 6 of 14 (43%) on treys. The Cougars committed only 8 turnovers to the Warriors' 16.

The second-ranked Fort Wayne Luers (21-4) topped No. 1 Tipton (23-3) 60-53 in the second game. Luers went on to defeat North Miami 74- 59 in the championship game.

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