The basics: Andover Central broke a three-game losing streak in the City League vs. AV-CTL basketball challenge behind 25 points from senior Darraja Parnell, who hit 19 of 23 free throws.
Key stretches: Carroll controlled the game for most of the first half, until Andover Central’s Peyton Huslig hit back-to-back baskets and Parnell hit two free throws to tie the game 17-17 at halftime. The teams battled back and forth in the third quarter until a three-pointer by Andover Central’s Evan Curtis put his team up 26-23 with 1:45 left and the Jaguars never trailed again.
Standouts: Carroll tried to pack the lane and keep Parnell away from the rim — a strategy that worked in the first half — but the 6-foot-2 guard and Central Arkansas commit was able to break down the defense in the second half thanks to some sharp shooting by teammate Cole Taylor, who scored 18 points and hit 3 of 6 three-pointers.
“They clamped down on me in the paint in the first half,” Parnell said. “It took me awhile to adjust, and when it takes me awhile to adjust, it takes the team awhile. We picked it up in the second half.”
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Eric Scharping led Carroll with 13 points and eight rebounds.
What they said: “I thought, in the first half, ‘Oh here we go again,’ because we couldn’t get the ball in the paint,” said Central coach Jesse Herrmann, referring to his team’s past struggles in the challenge. “Darraja can get into the paint against just about anybody, and (Carroll coach) Lonnie Lollar did a great job of getting him frustrated, but in the second half we did a great job getting to the free-throw line instead of getting pushed around. That’s where we won the game.”
What it means: Central (7-2) has a six-game winning streak headed to its midseason tournament in Chanute. Carroll (4-5) drops under .500 and has lost four of five.
Andover Central – Parnell 25, Taylor 18, Curtis 8, Huslig 4, Anthemides 2, Bezdek 1.
Carroll – Iseman 9, Carney 7, Allen 2, Goodman 3, Scharping 13, Theis 1, M. Kennedy 1 Biby 8, L. Kennedy 6.