The Carroll boys basketball team lost a tough one to Carrollton Newman Smith in its final game before district competition, but coach Eric McDade said his team was able to accomplish one of its major objectives with the game, which was to get a game in after the extended layoff from inclement weather.
The Dragons opened up district competition on Monday against Richland after the press deadline and will take on Northwest on Friday.
“I read something the other day where Coach [Mike] Hatch said this is probably the best team he has had in the seven years that he has been here, and I would probably concur with that,” McDade said.
“They are pretty good. They've got veteran guard play and good solid team play. They have a great scheme and they are coached up, so it will be a great test for us.”
McDade said the game against Newman Smith was a tough pill to swallow with the Dragons losing 59-57, but added that some good did come out of it.
“It was a great basketball game that came down to two teams that were neck-and-neck the entire way, we got down to the end and they threw it up and hit a tough shot,” McDade said.
“It's a hard way to lose a game, but at the same time, the next day, we had one of the best practices that we have had all year. This is a group that has a lot of bounce back in them, and I think that is a good formula for doing well come district time.”
The Dragons will play Tuesday and Friday, and then with the holidays, face another couple of weeks of sporadic games and extended layoffs.
McDade said while that sort of thing is challenging for a teams' rhythm, it can also be good because it helps a team to build even more chemistry to remain competitive.
“I just made that statement the other day where I can't wait until we get it to Tuesdays and Fridays and can kind of get into a routine,” McDade said. “Right now, what you are really trying to do more than anything else is keep your kids connected as much as possible as far as how they are bonding and gelling.
“We are being tested as a team, because we have not been able to get a rhythm down, and I think we have handled it well. I think it has been good for us in one way, but on the other hand, I am ready for some good old-fashioned routine.”