RIVERSIDE — After losing in the final seconds to Chaminade Julienne in their last Greater Catholic League meeting, the Carroll fans and players were ready for the rematch at home when the Patriots hosted the Eagles, Friday night at Carroll High School. But a cold night shooting the ball would be the downfall for Carroll who lost 54-33.
Each team immediately revealed the keys to their gameplan. CJ (7-8, 5-2 GCL) had a big size advantage over Carroll (9-7, 1-6 GCL), and their 2-3 zone would challenge the Patriot shooters all night. The shots were falling in the first quarter. The Patriots hit 3-of-5 from downtown in the opening quarter, and 5-of-12 in the half.
Senior sharpshooter Xander Smart was finding the net in the first half for Carroll, and had 13 of his 16 total points going into the locker room at the break. However, the Eagles did a good job of getting multiple shot opportunities on offense and led 29-25 at halftime.
Carroll coach Tim Cogan talked about his team’s mindset going into the locker room.
“First half, we did not do a great job screening them out and playing good halfcourt defense, but we were just down four. So we talked about that at halftime, how we didn’t have a great first half and how we had to do a better job on the boards. Then we come out in the second half, and we didn’t score a point in the third quarter,” he said.
That’s right. The Patriots were 0-for-10 from the field in the third quarter. So despite holding CJ to just six points, they trailed 35-25 going into the fourth quarter.
“Our shooting percentage was really bad. In basketball, you’re going to have nights like that, but you can’t have those nights against a great program like CJ. And we did. We did not shoot the ball well from any part of the floor,” said Cogan.
In the fourth quarter, Carroll’s confidence was shot and their poor shooting continued. They finished shooting 3-of-23 in the half and 13-for-45 for the game.
It didn’t help that CJ junior forward Alan Vest caught fire in the second half, scoring 13 of his game-high 19 points in the final two quarters.
Cogan said his team needs to regroup fast. He said that they have five games in the next seven nights, and dwelling on this loss won’t help.
“We have to move on right now. As much as it hurts to lose like this, we have to move on because we can’t go on a losing streak.”
The Patriots visit Bellbrook at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Bellbrook High School.