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Prep Boys Basketball: Carlisle cruises past Bull City Prep by 23
Maker scores game-high 24, Kaleb Johnson adds 22
Carlisle’s Malcome N’diaye (left) and Kevin Cuesta (middle) look to control a loose ball under the basket during Tuesday’s 93-74 win over Bull City Prep (N.C.) at the Carlisle School in Martinsville. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
The Carlisle boys basketball team won its third game in a row Tuesday as Thon Maker and Kaleb Johnson led a balanced offensive attack in a 97-74 win over Bull City Prep (N.C.) at the Carlisle School in Martinsville.
The only time Bull City looked threatening was in the opening minutes when Isiah Maurice stole the ball and went in for a dunk to open the scoring. He then followed that up with two jump shots to score the first six points. It became a distant memory, however, by the end of the first eight minutes when the Chiefs held a 28-18 advantage after the first quarter. Johnson scored eight points in the opening period and Maker added nine.
“Overall we had a good performance and we need to build off that,” Niblett said.
By the second quarter, the Chiefs’ pressure defense got into a rhythm creating turnovers. It forced Bull City into a number of bad shots holding it scoreless for the first three and a half minutes of the quarter. Meanwhile, the combo of Maker and Johnson continued to thrive with a combined 18 points in the quarter as the Chiefs constantly pushed the ball on offense, using their defense to create opportunities for easy lay-ups and open jumpers on the way to a 53-31 halftime lead.
The Chiefs’ defensive pressure not only frustrated their opponent, but the Bull City coaching staff as well. It led to one of its assistants receiving a technical for arguing in the first half.
In the third quarter the Chiefs extended their lead by holding Bull City to just 12 points. The defensive execution by the Chiefs to start the second half was exactly what Niblett said he wanted to see.
Things did get a bit chippy in the second half as Carlisle’s lead continued to grow. Bull City’s Iran Bennett was called for intentional flagrant after hitting Johnson in the head during a lay-up attempt, and Maurice was called for a technical on the same play for arguing with the referee.
Bull City head coach Darryl Harris thought the calls were a little more in Carlisle’s favor than normal.
“I thought it was an evenly matched game, and early on we had a chance to come into Carlisle and compete,” Harris said. “And the calls didn’t go our way and that’s expected when you’re on the road, but it seemed like it was a little bit more than usual.”
In the fourth quarter, with the Chiefs up 30 points, Niblett tried to let his bench finish the game, but Bull City’s reserves came out with lots of energy, and Ahmad Alston lit up the scoreboard dropping 14 points in the period. He was then ejected after picking up his second technical of the game.
Behind Alston and a full court press, Bull City cut its deficit to 13. A pair of free throws by Malcolm N’diaye and a layup by Maker quickly put Carlisle back in control. Still, Niblett was not happy that his reserves couldn’t finish.
“I thought we played well for 70 percent of the game,” Niblett said. “But when we subbed in the fourth we fell off tremendously. When the reserves come off the bench they have to be ready to play.”
Maker finished the game with 24 and Johnson added 22. N’diaye chipped in with 16. Alston was the high man for Bull City with 18 points off the bench. Maurice added 16, but scored just six points after the first quarter. Bennett rounded out Bull City’s double-figure scorers with 14.
Carlisle takes on Oak Hill Academy on Friday night on a neutral court at Franklin County High School.