WINTHROP— It will take more than an elbow to the nose to slow down Dakota Carter.
Saturday night, the Winthrop power forward has his eyes water and both nostrils bleed profusely but that didn’t stop the sophomore from scoring all 15 of his points in the second half to lead the Ramblers past the St. Dom’s Saints 59-43 in boys’ basketball.
Carter’s injury came in the third quarter and his missed about half of the stanza as the Winthrop assistant coach attempted to stop the bleeding.
“I had to use ice to stop the bleeding” said Carter who still had one nostril stuffed with rolled up gauze after the game.
Seven times in the fourth quarter, Carter went to the free throw line. Whenever there was a rebound to be had in the final quarter, Carter was there to haul it down. Whenever a pass was made by a Saints’ player, there appeared Carter to intercept the pass. His fourth-quarter effort help break open a 41-36 lead at the end of the third.
“He’s a high energy guy,” said Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur. “He just plays and plays.”
Midway through the fourth, the Saints (2-4) found themselves with four starters in foul trouble with each having four fouls. The Ramblers (4-3) took the ball to the hoop early in the game to ignite the foul trouble and continued the aggressiveness in the fourth quarter.
“We always preach to drive the paint,” said MacArthur. “We them in foul trouble early.”
“It killed us,” said St. Dom’s coach Todd Flaherty. “It really messed with our rotation.”
The Saints kept the game close through the first three quarters with center Eric Ulin scoring 12 points from underneath along with a couple of foul line jumpers. Matt Dyer connected on a pair of 3-pointers and added 10 points.
But after three quarters of solid play, the Ramblers began the procession to the foul line in the fourth. After made free throws, they cranked up their pressure and the visitors struggled to handle it.
“We took care of the ball better in the first half,” said Flaherty. “They took us out of our offense with their defense. That’s what they do. (Handling pressure) is something we’re working on and we have to get better.”
Carter hit on seven of his 14 attempts from the charity stripe in the final quarter. He also converted an offensive rebound and scored on a nice pass from the top of the key by Crispin Banda. The Ramblers also got a 3-point field goal by Hunter Kilgore (13 points).
In the first half, Winthrop relied on Ben Allen’s offense. The sophomore scored 13 of his 15 points before intermission.
“It you take away one player, someone else steps up,” said MacArthur. “We don’t have any stars, but we go eight deep.”