For a young team that went through arguably its toughest non-district schedule in Teri Morrison’s eight seasons, the Carroll girls basketball team is hoping the payoff will surface this week.
The Lady Dragons (14-9, 4-0 in District 7-6A) closed the first half of the district season with games Tuesday at co-district leader Euless Trinity (18-3, 4-0) and then playing host to third-place Colleyville Heritage (17-7, 3-1) on Friday.
It’s a week where the Lady Dragons could either end the week in sole possession of first place or in third. That’s what kind of movement is at stake.
“We’re pretty consistent in our preparation,” Morrison said. “The scouting stays the game. We work a little more on the top players to key on. When you gear up to play people, you just have to keep everybody adjusted to what we’re doing.”
Carroll’s ability to take care of the basketball is still something that has to improve. It’s not where Morrison wants but it is getting better. Against Coppell and Richland, the Lady Dragons turned it over 14 times in each game. The goal is 12 or fewer per game.
However, Morrison has identified the source of the issues. Admittedly, her team starts games a little a little too fast and tries to make the perfect play. The choppy first half is followed by a stronger second half.
Look no further than Richland last Friday. Carroll held a slim 26-25 lead at the intermission. Then, the Lady Dragons played suffocating defense in the second half, had few turnovers and won going away, 50-36.
“When we commit 14 turnovers, it’s like 10 in the first half and four in the second half,” Morrison said. “When we settle down, we play better. I like the things we’re doing. We played some Top 5 teams in the season. It’s nothing that we haven’t seen when we get into district play. So the [non-district] season has definitely helped us.”
Youth in the post
Freshman post Gabby McBride (6-1) is not the same player she was when the season began. That’s definitely a good thing for the Lady Dragons.
Holding on to her role as a defensive rebounder and occasional scorer, she has averaged 4.9 points and 5.5 rebounds (40 offensive, 87 defensive) and is third on the team in deflections with 33.
The deflection stat is pretty overlooked. It can disrupt possessions that can either force the opposing offense to go into a different offense, delay how long it wants to run the play or create a turnover. After all, a deflected ball from the defender can hit an offensive player and go out of bounds.
“Gabby is in better physical shape in terms of the way she plays the game now than how she did it in November,” Morrison said. “She’s just smarter about the game and the way we run our tempo and high low. I also like the way she’s done a good job of posting up in being in the right place. I really like how much better she has become as a rebounder.”
Senior post and Arkansas-Little Rock signee Anna Hurlburt is shooting 52 percent for the season.