KVA rally quelled by Cary Christian

Dec. 03, 2013 @ 11:03 PM

Derrian Markham and R.J. Hunt scored each of Kerr-Vance’s 19 third-quarter points Tuesday as the Spartans erased a 10-point halftime deficit after trailing by as many as 17 in the first half.

But a bigger, more experienced Cary Christian side withstood the rally and pulled away for a 56-45 win.

Markham, KVA’s lone senior, had a game-high 21 points and Hunt finished with 17. Markham knocked down five 3-pointers and Hunt finished with three.

“We’re a work in progress,” said KVA head coach Dave Carrier. “Those two guys understand that for us to be good, the other guys need to get better. And I’m confident they will.”

Carrier added that he’s disappointed with the loss, but saw mistakes that can be corrected.

KVA (3-3) dropped to 0-2 in the Eastern Plains Independent Conference.

Caleb Ellis, a versatile wing player, scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead Cary Christian.

The Spartans capped a 25-11 run that started in the second quarter with a spot-up 3-pointer from Markham to tie the game with 1:05 to play in the third.

Cary Christian responded with an 11-1 run to regain control as the visitors pushed their lead to 49-39.

“When they pass, they’re going to move,” Carrier said of the Knights. “They back-cut, they flash to the ball a lot, constantly moving. They’re a really good team.”

Hunt, a junior, entered the contest averaging 27.4 points and faced a physical challenge from Cary Christian

“I think their thing was to try to get him out of his game, bump him everywhere he went,” said Carrier. “I think everybody will have that strategy. And they did a good job with it. I know R.J., R.J. will adjust. I’m kind of glad he got to see that physical defense tonight. He will adjust his game and he’s already working on that.”

KVA steps out of conference Friday for an away match with Cape Fear Christian.

Jason Thompson 9, Greg DeDecker 4, Chico Mendes 2, Caleb Ellis 20, Carson Gray 13, Nick Smith 7, Ryan Greenwood 1

R.J. Hunt 17, Derrian Markham 21, Joseph Burnette 3, Dustin Smith 4

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.