The Carrollton Warriors’ picture-perfect basketball season came to an end Wednesday night with a 47-43 loss to East Liverpool in the district semifinal.
East Liverpool started the game strong, leading 15-10 at the end of the first quarter, but Carrollton buckled down in the second quarter.
The Warriors scored three quick points on a split pair of free throws by Jaxon Rinkes and a hook shot from Brock Smith to cut the Potters lead to 15-13.
Later in the quarter, the Warriors found themselves in a 19-16 hole. Cadyn Smith turned on the jets and started scoring for Carrollton. He was first sent to the foul line and made one free throw to slim East Liverpool’s lead to 19-17.
East Liverpool then converted an and-one to extend their lead to 22-17. That lead didn’t last long due to back-to-back three-pointers from Cadyn Smith to put the Warriors ahead 23-22.
The Warriors put together a 6-0 run to end the second quarter thanks to baskets from Rinkes and Micah Barkan to go into halftime with a 29-23 lead.
Rinkes recorded 15 points in the first half and didn’t score again.
Out of the third quarter, the Potters scored back-to-back buckets to cut Carrollton’s lead to 29-27.
The Warriors then put together a 7-0 run after a Barkan foul shot and consecutive made three-pointers by Lincoln Mallarnee to go up 36-27 – Carrollton’s biggest lead of the game. They took a 36-31 lead into the fourth quarter.
Mallarnee found himself at the foul line right away in the fourth quarter, sinking a pair of free throws to push the Warriors lead to 38-31, but the Potters constructed together a 9-0 run to take a 40-38 lead – their first lead since the second quarter.
From that point forward, the game was back and forth. Straight out of a timeout with 3:38 remaining in regulation, Mallarnee nailed a three-pointer to put the Warriors back in front 41-40. After another East Liverpool bucket, he scored again to put Carrollton ahead 43-42 – that was Carrollton’s last points of the contest.
East Liverpool’s final five points came off of foul shots to seal the game.
Mallarnee finished with 13 for Carrollton.