Spartans clinch share of league title

Feb. 09, 2013 @ 02:32 PM

Dave Carrier has made a habit of swapping George Hoyle and Tyson Carrier in late-game situations this season. Hoyle subs in for defense and Tyson Carrier for offense.

The move paid off for the Kerr-Vance coach Friday as both players came up with big plays in the Spartans’ 67-60 win over Cary Christian.

Hoyle picked the pocket of a Knight nearing the midcourt line and took it in for a score to put KVA (18-5, 11-3) ahead 50-47 with 3:15 to play.

After Cary Christian got back within a point with two free throws on their next possession, Tyson Carrier drained a 3-pointer from the left corner to put the Spartans up four.

“Kind of worked to perfection tonight,” said Dave Carrier.

Hoyle finished with six points on the game.

“George is about as good of an on-ball defender as I’ve ever coached in my life and I’ve coached some good ones,” said Dave Carrier. “He has a knack for making big plays.”

Carrier said he’s been impressed with the strides Hoyle has made offensively.

Tyson Carrier scored all eight of his points in the second half.

“Being a coach’s son is not easy. I’m doubly hard on him than any other player I’ve ever coached,” said Dave Carrier. “He’s a tough kid. He might look skinny, but he’s tough. We have a lot of confidence in him making big shots, which he did tonight.”

R.J. Hunt and Brandon Dickerson each sank two free throws to ice the game for KVA, which clinched a share of the 2-A Eastern Plains Independent Conference regular season title with the Senior Night win.

The Spartans finished tied with both Rocky Mount Academy and Grace Christian of Raleigh. KVA will host a first-round league tourney game on Tuesday.

Hoyle and Tyson Carrier are members of a senior class that goes 10 deep. They are joined by Dickerson, Troy Bickle, Derrius Perry, Jake Ruggles, Daniel Burnette, Dallas Smith, Hayes Griggs, and Jacob Bowen.

“They’re the kind of kids that make me as a coach feel special,” said Dave Carrier. “I’m so lucky to have a chance to be with them every day. They come into practice enthusiastic every day. They work their rear ends off and there’s not a selfish bone in any of their bodies.”

Perry led KVA with 21 points and Dickerson had 20, including three 3-pointers.

Perry had all nine of the Spartans’ first quarter points.

“Derrius has just improved this last third of the season,” said Dave Carrier. “He’s really seemed to take coaching well, he wants to go out like a champion and that’s what he’s doing.”

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.