The Carroll girls basketball team continues its assault on District 4-5A. Head coach Teri Morrison is getting the opportunity to look at different combinations as the playoffs approach.
The Lady Dragons (22-4, 9-0) were in position to clinch a playoff berth this week. The played at Richland on Tuesday before playing host to Justin Northwest on Friday.
Morrison is looking at offensive sets where junior point guard Kennedy Leonard is the primary ball handler bringing the ball across half court. Some of that is falling upon Rebecca Gordon, especially when it comes to Carroll’s transition game.
Gordon’s presence can free up Leonard to be more of a scorer. Leonard can be more innovative off the catch and do things within the framework of the offense to create her own looks.
This is a look that Morrison envisions seeing in the playoffs. It’s a bold move, because Carroll is averaging nearly 16 assists per game. Leonard is averaging eight, with the balance being spread within the roster. At the very least, Morrison’s going to stay with it until defenses make Carroll do something else.
“Releasing Kennedy on the floor will create more pressure on who we’re playing,” Morrison said. “A lot of people can bring the ball up for us. But if it’s a walk-it-up type of game, I’m sure Kennedy will have the responsibilities. I like what I’m seeing so far.”
In the post
Sophomore post Anna Hurlburt’s streak of double-figure scoring is now at a season-high four games following her 12- and 11-point efforts against Keller Central and Keller Timber Creek.
While junior post Madison Drescher may not be contributing as much on the scoring end, the 6-2 junior is more than handling her own on the boards. She’s collected at least six in the past four games. Morrison attributes the work of assistant coach Shatina Lewis for working with the posts throughout practices including pregame work.
“She’s spent a lot of time with them and it’s really paying off,” Morrison said. “They’re becoming more mature. They’re getting more experience. Everything has been diligent in terms what we’re doing with our high-low game. We’re in a good place with it right now.”
Keeping the focus
If the Lady Dragons do not go through the district season undefeated, that would be news. With five games to play, they were on pace to reach 27 wins before the playoffs start.
From an outsider’s perspective, the lack of a challenge in these games would give you the sense of the kind of energy and intensity this team would need to play with in the postseason. Morrison said she’s not concerned with that.
“I’m not guarded about that kind of thing,” Morrison said. “That’s not my personality. We just have to approach each game and do everything we can to win it. I’m a realist. Anything can happen. Our approach is to control what we can. And that starts with what [the team is doing this week.]”
Carroll was ranked No. 12 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A poll for Jan. 13. Carroll’s four losses – Galena Park North Shore (18-4), Duncanville (24-0), Arlington Bowie (21-2) and Waco LaVega (28-0) – have come against teams that have combined to lose just six games.