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The Caroline Cavaliers basketball team extended its win streak with a thrilling, buzzer-beating victory over King George only to see their six-game run come to a halt against No. 2 Culpeper.
The Cavaliers defeated host King George 66-64 for their sixth consecutive victory on Tuesday of last week, but the visiting Blue Devils snapped Caroline’s win streak by taking an 80-67 victory on Friday.
Junior Will Howard led the Cavaliers in scoring in both contests as the split put Caroline at 8-5 overall and 4-3 third place in the Battlefield District.
Culpeper used a big second quarter to take control of the game. Bruce Mosley sank four 3-pointers in the period and Nik Stewart added another as the Blue Devils out-scored Caroline 24-7 in the second quarter to take a 36-24 lead at intermission.
“It’s always tough to play here,” said Culpeper Coach Billy Thornhill, whose team had seven 3-point baskets for the night and was 27-32 from the free throw line. “It is such a long ride. It took these guys a few moments at first to get their legs under them.”
The teams virtually traded quarters after the break. Culpeper, which also showed a scrappy defense that managed to pick off a number of Caroline passes, won the third quarter 25-19, and Caroline, the fourth, 24-19.
“I knew what the offense could do as far as scoring points, so this week we worked on shoring up the defense in order to control this Caroline team,” said Thornhill.
Caroline used a 17-6 run at the start of the game to get out front and led 17-12 after one quarter.
Anthony Banks scored 19 points to lead five Culpeper players in double figures; Stewart added 16 and Mosley, 14. The Blue Devils improved to 12-2 overall and 5-1 (second place) in the Battlefield District.
Howard scored 12 points to lead four Caroline players in double figures; he and Jaron Clipper (11 points) provided strong play under the basket. Bevontae Morris and Aason Pankey each added 11 points for Caroline. Morris and Deion Scott combined for five 3-point baskets in the second half.
“This game was lost in the second quarter,” said Caroline coach Antoine Johnson. “The rest of the game was even, but it’s hard to come back from a quarter like that.”
The Culpeper junior varsity team defeated Caroline 70-56.
Scott brought the home crowd to its feet Tuesday night, sinking a 3-point shot at the buzzer to lift his team to a narrow win over the host Foxes.
Caroline led most of the second half until free throws helped King George to edge ahead near the end. The Foxes got a layup to take a 64-63 lead with 22 seconds left.
On Caroline’s next possession, the Foxes managed to pick up a steal, but they turned the ball over with an overthrown pass that was intended to start a fast break.
Scott, who scored 11 of Caroline’s 21 points in the final period, worked the ball until the last second, and his game-winning trey swished through the hoop.
Caroline led 33-28 at the half, but King George trimmed the deficit to 1 point, 44-43, after three quarters.
The Foxes held an 18-14 advantage after one quarter, but the Cavaliers out-scored them 19-10 in the second period to take the lead at intermission.
Howard scored a game-high 18 points to lead Caroline, and Scott followed with 15 points.
Nana Djan scored 17 points to lead King George and Anthony Howard added 14 points.
The Caroline junior varsity defeated King George 43-36.