The Carroll boys basketball team kept its playoff hopes alive this past week with a victory over Richland and a close loss to Northwest, and coach Eric McDade said his team is playing its best basketball of the season at this point.
The Dragons played Keller on Tuesday night after the press deadline and will host Keller Fossil Ridge at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
“Ridge is a really talented and athletic team,” McDade said. “Not only that, but they've got guys that have a lot of basketball savvy, and a good coach. They've also got a lot of experienced guys. We need to go out and play a good strong game, and play our kind of game, and we are hopeful we can get that one. We are excited about the road ahead, and we think it should be fun.”
Carroll lost to Northwest 51-50 on Friday in a game McDade said was another one for the ages.
“It was war,” McDade said. “Our student section really came out. They packed it in. It was a lot like a college environment. They were all dressed in white gear. It was a white out night.
“Northwest came in with a lot of energy. We're playing some of our best basketball right now and they are playing some of their best basketball. It was a just a hard-fought game.”
The Dragons were 4-5 in district competition heading into Tuesday's game with Fossil Ridge, and McDade said he believes his team is feeling good about its chances.
“Our focus is always to get better and keep improving,” McDade said. “To our guys’ credit, we've got some great senior leadership, and our guys are staying focused. We're getting better every week and really trying to maximize what we have. I'm pleased, and I think our guys are very confident as we head into this home stretch.”
McDade said he has had a number of his players step up so far this season and said one of the things that most impresses him is the range of players making an impact.
“Our seniors have really responded well,” McDade said. “Sammy [Silver]'s been playing great. Cole [Partyka] has given us a lot of things in the way of leadership. Some of our younger players have really come through, as well, like Jourdan Humphrey, Hunter Summy, Kirk Mason and Cooper Osburn.
“We're excited about the rotation of guys we have going in there and contributing.”
Carroll was in fifth place in the district standings heading into Tuesday's contest with Keller, one game back of Richland.