RIVERSIDE — Taller guards, a deeper bench and relentless defensive pressure led the Alter Lady Knights to a 66-49 win over Carroll on Saturday night.
A full-court press and ball-hawking, half-court defense allowed the Lady Knights to force a plethora of early turnovers, leading to easy fast-break buckets in burying the Lady Patriots in a 23-6 first-quarter deficit from which they could not overcome. A 7-2 spurt to start the quarter and a 10-2 run to finish did more than enough damage in the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North Division contest.
Alter junior Emma Bockrath led all scorers with 15 points, senior Kara Bockrath added 13 points and freshman Braxtin Miller tossed in 10 for the Knights (7-0, 3-0 GCL North). Freshman Amanda Schroeder scored a season-high 14 points while senior Caroline Austria added 10, all in the second half, for Carroll.
“Our turnovers turned into points for them,” Carroll coach Rob Berry said. “They’re very, very tall. Being long and tall really hurts our smaller guards.”
When Alter wasn’t fast-breaking, the half-court offense was just as potent with a mix of drives and lob passes inside. With the exception of a handful of 3-point baskets and free throws, all of Alter’s points came from within 10 feet of the hoop.
“We’ve got to protect the basket,” Berry said. “We give up too many easy baskets.”
Not to make excuses, but Berry said the Lady Patriots are still playing short-handed. Junior guard Jenna Dirksen is still out with an injury and senior Ashley Depoorter was unavailable for Saturday’s game. That meant Carroll (4-3, 2-1 GCL North) had to continue to throw freshmen into the mix early and often.
“They’ve got to grow up a little faster than we want them to,” Berry said. “We’re starting two freshmen and another one off the bench.”
The one off the bench is Schroeder, who has scored 13 and 14 in her last two games and is developing into another weapon inside after a slow start to the season.
“She’s really stepping up,” Berry said. Now he is looking for more of the same from the ball handlers.
“We need to generate points from the guard position,” Berry said.
Carroll did cut a 35-14 lead to 37-22 at halftime thanks to an 8-2 spurt at the end of the second quarter. But Alter was able to build the lead back up and coast through the second half.
The Lady Patriots were at Tipp City Tippecanoe, Monday and they will then head up to Detroit for games against Romulus and Detroit Cass Tech, Friday and Saturday. Alter played at Mount Notre Dame Monday and then has Beavercreek at home Dec. 30.