The Carroll boys basketball team held its own with the defending state champion last Tuesday night in a back and forth affair with Plano West.
The Dragons played Trophy Club Nelson on Tuesday after the press deadline and is gearing up for the Cedar Hill Tournament starting on Tuesday.
Coach Eric McDade said that his team is starting to gel and said there are some specific objectives for the Cedar Hill tournament he would like to see accomplished.
“In that tournament, which is the second, you are continuing to try to find your rotation and work on the things that you do well,” McDade said. “We just want to continue to improve. By the time we reach the third one that’s near Christmas, that one’s more for conditioning back before district play. Cedar Hill gives us the opportunity to play some really good teams. It will be a good test for us.”
The Dragons will open with El Paso Andress at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday in their first game of the tournament.
Carroll lost to Plano West by a score of 70-66 in overtime, and McDade said his feelings about the game are somewhat mixed.
“It was back and forth,” McDade said. “It was nip and tuck the whole way. We actually had a pretty good little run on them in the third quarter and went up on them a little bit. We had some turnovers, and they were able to come back.
“We were up seven with about 28 seconds to go, and they hit a three, and then we turn it over and they cut it to two ... and it ended up going to overtime. We had some kids that had already fouled out and came up just a little bit short. But it was a good battle against a good team.”
McDade said that while it was a good boost for his team to play Plano West so closely, it was disappointing to come up on the losing end of the game.
“They have some new players and we have some new players and it is a new year,” McDade said. “I think it is a definite confidence boost, but at the same time you hate it when you look at it and you know you let them off the hook. I thought that was one we had and controlled, but you learn from it and move on. I like who we are as a team, and we just have to keep working on defending, rebounding and taking care of that ball.”
Joey McCormick scored 17 points in the Plano West game for the Dragons, while Steven Blomstrom added 12 points, and Jack McBride, Sam Bourcy and Cooper Osburne combined for 24 points to lead the way for Carroll offensively.
McDade said it is good to see so many people contributing to the offense early on.
“From an offensive standpoint I think we are very talented and balanced,” McDade said. “We have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. The key thing is that the guys have bought into their roles and don’t try to do things they can’t do.”