Carolina Forest goes down in opening round to Vikings

Carolina Forest’s surprisingly strong season came to a surprisingly early finish Wednesday night with a 74-59 loss to Spring Valley in the Class AAA state playoffs.

The top-seeded Panthers (16-7) were held to just four points in the first quarter and spent the rest of the night trying to catch up with the visiting Vikings (13-11).

Trailing 15-4 after the first period, the Panthers fell into a deeper hole at halftime. They trailed 28-15 at the intermission, Carolina Forest’s lowest output for a half all season.

The Panthers finally caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 25 points to cut the deficit to single digits, 49-40, entering the final period.

But Spring Valley, led by Perry Dozier Jr. and Austin Beamus’ game-high 16 points, put the game away in the final frame. Devante Brooks scored 14 and Dominick Taylor added 11 for the Vikings.

Carolina Forest got a team-high 14 points from Aaron Williams and Will Brunson, who drilled four 3-pointers on the night. Robert Gray added 13 points but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit.

The loss marks the end of a solid season for the Panthers, who lost eight seniors from last year’s squad but managed to win the Region VI-AAAA title.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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