The Carroll boys basketball team was one of the few area programs that was not completely derailed by the severe weather this past weekend, as the Dragons did get in one game on Thursday at the Boswell Tournament.
Carroll defeated L.D. Bell by a score of 59-47 on Thursday afternoon, and coach Eric McDade said it was a good effort from his team.
“One thing that I love about the sport of basketball is that the downtime is not very long,” McDade said. “We lost a game to Wakeland on Tuesday, and the turnaround [was] to be able to play on Thursday. We got out there and made the corrections we needed to on Wednesday in practice, and then got out there on Thursday, and played one of our better games this year.
“One of the best things and biggest differences between Tuesday and Thursday was the battle in the paint. I think we gave up something like 40 points in the lane against Wakeland, and we fixed that pretty good,” McDade said. “Then we were able to generate some easy buckets for ourselves.”
McDade said that at this point in the season, the main thing the coaching staff is trying to do is get a flow established for his team and said layoffs like this create problems.
“The thing about this is that we will come back in on Tuesday night about this without any practice, and the only thing we can say is that the team we are playing is going to be in the same boat,” McDade said. “But we are creatures of habit. As human beings, we get used to routines, and the best thing we can do is get back into our daily routine as soon as possible.”
Carroll will not be able to play any extra games prior to the start of district, but McDade said he is still happy about the progress his team has made as district competition gets set to get underway.
“The feeling I had coming off the floor on Thursday was really good,” McDade said. “We're figuring it out, and the guys are still coming together. I was thinking about where we were at this time last year, and I think we may have had five or six losses, but it was kind of up and down.
“We had played a ton of games and tournaments, and you worry about your team being tired and fatigued both mentally and physically. Right now, I can say that we are fresh.”
Carroll was scheduled to open district play with Richland, a team that beat them 68-67 in the district opener last season, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, and McDade said the Rebels will present a challenge for his team as always.
“Coach [Richard] Bacon does a great job, and they're going to be well prepared,” McDade said. “They've got some really talented kids. For us, we are going to have to play great defense, we're going to have to rebound the basketball and we're going to have to play together on the offensive end.
“We do those three things, and we will be fine. That's going to be our formula for the rest of the year.”