It almost could be said that Friday’s Bishop Carroll-South girls basketball game was decided in the first quarter, when the Titans outscored the Golden Eagles by six points.
South, top-ranked in Class 6A, prevailed in the contest 34-28, so that first quarter might have made the difference. But that would not be fully indicative of the type of game this was.
Senior post Lauren White provided a spark for South out of the gate, scoring six of her game-high 12 points in the opening period.
Then, Carroll (5-1), No. 4 in Class 5A, shot itself back into the game in the second quarter on the strength of three three-pointers by junior guard Alison McFarren. But South adjusted, and those would be McFarren’s only points in the game.
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“Those are big sparks for us,” Carroll coach Taylor Dugan said of the three-pointers. “Those, along with other things, get us (back into the game). It’s always a big spark to hit some threes.”
South (5-0) could only muster a single field goal in the period and trailed Carroll 15-14, at halftime. The Golden Eagles’ 2-3 zone appeared to be denying South anything easy inside.
But White was also effective in the second half.
After Carroll junior post Britney Ho’s three-point play cut the South lead to 29-26 with 1:24 to play, White countered with a three-point play of her own under the basket with 40 seconds left that pushed the Titans’ lead back to 32-26.
Seniors White and Trezure Jobe sombined for 12 of the Titans’ 20 second-half points, and South essentially played keep-away down the stretch to secure the victory.
South coach Antwain Scales said this game wasn’t typical of what his team can do.
“We had an off night,” he said. “But we’ll get back to the drawing board.”
A factor that kept the scoring low was a number of missed shots in close by both teams.
Scales said afterward it wasn’t so much a question of the Carroll zone as it was his team’s execution.
“I just think it was the way we played,” he said. “We didn’t dictate the pace and tempo. But, that happens.”
Dugan said she was pleased by what the zone achieved.
“The girls really stuck to the game plan and worked hard on defense,” she said. “(South) got a few here and there in the first half, but we tried to stick with (the zone) until we couldn’t anymore.
“I think once we came out of that zone, it really changes the game for us. But we still fought through the game, and that’s what I’m most proud of from our girls.”
South won’t be the only team using the upcoming Christmas break to fine-tune. Dugan said the Golden Eagles will also use the time off to do some refining of the game.
“We’ve (played) six games,” she said. “We’ll work on little things, little mental errors we made, and take it into the next game – and into the second half of the season.
“We’ll be working on a lot of things over Christmas break, and it’s just one of those things that you learn from it and move on.”
Bishop Carroll 6 9 5 8 – 28
South 12 2 9 11 – 34
BISHOP CARROLL – McFarren 9, Ho 7, Larkin 6, Landwehr 4, Hageman 2.
SOUTH – White 12, Jobe 10, Johnson 6, Beard 4, Afoa 2.