The Carroll boys basketball team's playoff hopes were still alive heading into Tuesday night, but just barely, and coach Eric McDade said that even if the Dragons miss the playoffs this season, it has still been a success.
Carroll played Haltom on Tuesday after the press deadline and will host Keller Central at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. See dfwvarsity.com for results.
“Central is battling, and they are steadily improving as the year moves forward,” McDade said. “They're going to be hungry to take care of business, so we have to make sure that we are focused and ready to play.”
Carroll lost to Keller Fossil Ridge 70-57 on Friday night in a game that McDade said was really good for his team in terms of atmosphere and energy.
“It was an amazing game from the standpoint of the environment,” McDade said. “Somebody told me after the game that they had never seen our gym that packed. We had a tremendous crowd, and hats off to our student body and everybody that came out to our game.
“We played a very athletic team, and it was a war. They had a couple of runs there in the fourth quarter that kind of sealed the game for them, but our kids battled and really got after them. It was an exciting game to watch.”
The Dragons moved to 4-7 in district competition with the loss to Fossil Ridge, and McDade said the objective at this point is twofold – to continue to improve each night and to win out.
With three district games heading into Tuesday night, Richland was 7-4 in district competition and would have to lose all three games, while Carroll won all three remaining games, to force a play-in with the Rebels.
“We can't control what Richland does,” McDade said this past weekend. “We know they do have a pretty tough schedule going into their last three games. We need to make sure that we take care of business and take care of our games and just continue to get better. It is definitely crunch time for us.”
Carroll is 1-1 against Richland this season.
McDade said that regardless of how the season ends up for Carroll, the Dragons have continued to make progress throughout the year, which is all he can ask from his players.
“What you always look at is, are you getting better and are you improving?” McDade said. “Ultimately, we want to make the playoffs. We want to strive for a district title, but at the same time, we have to keep working and competing, and that is one thing I can say about this group is that we have worked all year and the kids have competed so hard. It just makes me proud to work with them every day.”