CARRBORO — The Carrboro Jaguars dropped Cedar Ridge (8-16, 8-8) on senior night, 77-62, to improve to 21-3 and 16-0 in the Carolina 12 heading into the postseason.
Matt MacKinnon led Carrboro with 18 points, 9 of which came in the fourth quarter. He was joined in double figures by junior James Scott and senior Malik Carrington, who each contributed 12 points. Kyle Jones of Cedar Ridge led all scorers with 22.
The Jaguars held a 17-8 lead at the end of one quarter, and entered the locker room with a 29-20 advantage.
Carrboro relied on a quick transition game that allowed it to either find the open man or draw a foul against an unsettled defense.
And once the whistle blew, Carrboro made sure Cedar Ridge would pay. Carrboro coach John Alcox said his team struggled somewhat from the line in the beginning of the game, but that when Cedar Ridge made a run in the fourth quarter to cut what had been an 18-point lead to nine, it stepped up.
“With the game on the line, we were able to knock down our free throws and close it out,” he said. “We talk about end-game situations, and we practice those situations. For us to be able to come out and close the deal like that is proof that that’s working.”
MacKinnon proved especially adept at getting to the line and finishing in the closing period, going eight-of-nine from the foul line in the fourth quarter alone.
Closing games out was likely in the forefront of his team’s mind. In the girls’ game earlier in the evening, Carrboro’s girls’ team fell on a last-second shot to the Red Wolves, 51-49.
After Cedar Ridge’s Kyley Clark made a layup to tie the game at 49, she stole the inbounds pass with three seconds remaining and immediately put the ball to the glass for the winning basket.