Successful programs like Carroll’s girls basketball program expect to win district championships consistently. But still, the fact that Carroll has won a district title in each of head coach Teri Morrison’s five seasons speaks to something else.
“I’ve been blessed to have a great group of kids every year in the fashion that they’re just going to keep working,” Morrison said. “There’s always been talent with this program, but when I got here, I hoped I would give some direction to help them reach new levels.”
What makes Carroll’s season (27-4, 14-0 in District 4-5A) a little more special is that this is the first time the Lady Dragons went undefeated in district play. The Lady Dragons will carry a 25-game district winning streak into the new 7-6A in 2014-2015.
The playoffs and Morrison are synonymous. She’s been a head coach for 27 years and made the playoffs in the last 26. The only time she missed was her first, the year she opened Mesquite Poteet.
Region I setup
The Lady Dragons opened the Class 5A Region I playoffs Monday against Weatherford, the fourth place team in District 3-5A, at Saginaw Chisholm Trail High School. This was a rematch of Carroll’s bi-district blowout win. Had they won, the Lady Dragons would face the winner of Midland-El Paso El Dorado.
While the bracket keeps Carroll away from Duncanville until the Region I championship game, that doesn’t mean the bracket opens up, either. Far from it. Carroll could have a date with Arlington Bowie in the Region I quarterfinals. The teams met three months ago (Nov. 9). Bowie won, 67-53.
Of course, a lot has changed. Carroll has improved itself to the point where there seems to be more of a balanced look. The renaissance for junior post Madison Drescher continues. She scored nine points in the regular season finale win over Haltom (62-29). Sophomore post Anna Hurlburt also scored nine points. As expected, Hurlburt seems to be basically free from the nagging injuries that plagued her two weeks ago.
“It’s been a matter of Madison getting into the rhythm of the game working on her footwork,” Morrison said. “It’s a different thing to be blocking shots at the net than trying to putting the ball in off the goal.”
Drescher is also an accomplished volleyball player.
Morrison will continue her offensive approach of releasing Kennedy Leonard down the floor and letting Gretchen Morrison become more of a ball handler. Morrison’s shooting will not decrease.
But mix that with the post play and Morrison is hoping she has the best look going into the postseason.
Defensively, this team has to continue to work on the opposing team’s ability to drive in the paint and take unchallenged or better shots. Morrison said the help-defense play has improved.
New district home
Carroll is moving into the new District 7-6A with Colleyville Heritage, Euless Trinity, Hurst L.D. Bell, Coppell, Richland and Haltom. Morrison loves the move.
“A great fan of this district,” Morrison said. “I think the fans will come out even more and you have some really established programs in Colleyville Heritage, Bell and Trinity. I’m very pleased. The facilities are great. But we’re going to have to show up and do our job.”