In the early days of the UIL allowing four playoff teams, district champions sometimes took advantage of the end of the girls basketball regular season.
When the season ended on Tuesday, they would sometimes play a warm-up game on the following Friday. But with recent schedule restrictions, those games are a thing of the past.
Carroll (26-4, 13-0 in District 4-5A) will go into the postseason as district champions and the top seed. Presuming the Lady Dragons took care of Haltom on Tuesday, they would have a perfect district record and carry a 25-game district winning streak into 2014-2015.
Morrison isn’t playing a game at the end of the week. She’s going to be preparing her team for the Class 5A Region I bi-district playoff matchup with either Weatherford or North Crowley. The fourth place spot in District 3-5A still remained unknown.
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“We’re going to look at closely whoever we play,” Morrison said. “We’re probably going to have some of our freshmen and junior varsity guys help us get ready because it’s a different game in the playoffs.
“But we also want to use the days off for some rest time and get into that postseason mindset. Really, after Haltom, this is at one and done. So the level of focus has to be different.”
The good news is that this team appears to be completely healthy. Sophomore post Anna Hurlburt returned this past week from some undisclosed issues. She chipped in four and six points respectively in the blowout wins over Keller and Keller Fossil Ridge. Another week of getting back to speed with the team should put her in a good position when the postseason begins.
What has Morrison more excited is that junior post Madison Drescher may have found her scoring touch. Drescher scored 12 and 10 points in those games, the first time she had been in double figures in consecutive games. That kind of production could give the Lady Dragons the inside to complement Kennedy Leonard and Gretchen Morrison.
“We have a lot of kids who can get to the rim,” Morrison said. “We’ve gotten better since just in the last two games. Our defense has been better. There’s a lot of confidence, and we’re sharing the ball better.”
About the defense
Morrison talked about her defense becoming a little tougher when it came to keeping people out of the paint and penetrating. She said that’s still going to be an issue when this team plays against physical opponents.
But she noted that the help defense took a step forward last week and will continue to be a point of emphasis as the postseason approaches.
“We still have to be better there,” Morrison said. “We’re getting smarter and even when we sub, there’s not going to be a drop off.”
Carroll is creating some separation between its assists and turnovers. At one point, the Lady Dragons averaged about 15 helpers and 15 turnovers per game. Now, Carroll is averaging 17.3 assists to 14.9 miscues.
Meanwhile, this team is averaging 59 points and 11.6 steals per game. Both numbers have been trending up in recent weeks.