Teri Morrison’s homecoming to Waco this past weekend turned out to be as good as she had hoped.
The only thing that didn’t make a complete success was the Lady Dragons basketball team winning the MT Rice Classic. Carroll (17-4) went 3-1 and finished third as it defeated Round Rock Westwood on Saturday. The loss was to Class 3A state power Waco La Vega.
“It was great to see my parents, some former players and a lot of people I had not seen in a long time,” said Morrison, the former Waco Midway coach who returned to Waco for the first time after taking over at Carroll five seasons ago. “The people in Waco are pretty down-home. It was a good experience. There were good crowds. Waco really likes its high school basketball.”
Carroll defeated Schertz Clemens (56-36) and Class 4A state power Canyon Randall (49-43). But the problem in the loss to La Vega mirrored what happened in the losses to Arlington Bowie and Duncanville.
One bad quarter really did in the Lady Dragons. In the 57-35 loss, Carroll was outscored 23-8 in the second quarter. La Vega center Erin DeGrate scored 20 points and collected 15 rebounds. Carroll just didn’t have an answer. What was a little odd was that Carroll was not considered the favorite against La Vega because of DeGrate. The 2015 standout is one of the most coveted recruits in the country.
“We have a tendency to have a phantom quarter where things just disintegrate on us,” Morrison said. “Shots aren’t dropping and we commit bad turnovers and we don’t get into any flow. But then we’re OK for the other three. We just have to eliminate that bad quarter.”
Carroll had a rough tournament shooting as Morrison said the team shot about 35 percent for the four games.
“I did see some good things because we won three games,” Morrison said. “But the thing we have to do is to be more patient with our offense and getting shots out of it. We also have to emphasize the transition and get the easy buckets because we sometimes forget that.”
Extend the bench
This is actually one of the most satisfying weeks for coaches. They get to work with their teams for four days before they play a game.
Of course, teams had a UIL-mandated five-day layoff before they returned to tournament action last week. They could not practice. This time they can.
For Morrison, she wants to work with her team in all defensive and offensive areas. But since district play is about to resume, she wants to see if she can extend her bench by one. Currently, Carroll plays eight. However, she wants to see if she can add a ninth player.
“I’d like to go nine, because it will mean so much to our substitutions and how we get through the rest of district,” she said. “I hope we can find a way to make it work.”
Friday features one of the of top games of the year as 4-0 Keller plays at 4-0 Carroll at 6 p.m. Carroll won both meetings in 2013, but Morrison knows the Lady Indians present a great challenge. Keller has won its first four district games by an average of 18 points.
“We just have to take care of the ball and be more efficient,” Morrison said. “I expect a great atmosphere for it.”