The Carroll express is moving at a high rate of speed. In high school girls basketball, when a team is consistently scoring in the 60s, that means the offense is executing with maximum efficiency.
In their last three games, the Lady Dragons (20-6, 8-0 in District 7-6A) have scored 66, 69 and 70 points. The only thing that stopped them on Tuesday is that they went through their second scheduled district bye. They resume the final stretch Friday at arch rival Coppell. The Lady Dragons carried a one-game lead over Euless Trinity. More importantly, the Lady Dragons have already clinched a playoff berth.
Carroll’s two-player game of point guard Kennedy Leonard and Priscilla Smeenge has been pretty much indefensible. Carroll is averaging 68.3 points per game during this stretch. Leonard and Smeenge are combining to average 41.6 points or nearly 61 percent of the points.
But these two are not just volume shooters trying to score. They have a very good plan when it comes to scoring.
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For the season, Smeenge is shooting 47 percent from the field. Leonard is shooting 45 percent. Any coach will gladly take those results. Leonard’s penchant for three-point shooting hasn’t impacted her shooting either. She’s hitting at 42 percent from long range.
Breaking down Leonard
A couple of weeks ago, Carroll coach Teri Morrison said that she believed Leonard was playing at a level that she has not seen a guard play at in her three decades of coaching. The numbers verify that.
Going into Friday’s game, Leonard is nearly at a 3-to-1 in her assists-to-turnover ratio. She’s had 199 helpers and 70 miscues. Leonard has never committed more than five turnovers in a game, and the last time she did that was nearly two months ago. In 7-6A play, she’s been even better. Through the first eight games, she has committed just 18 turnovers (2.3 per game) and had 60 assists (7.5 per game). The standard for a point guard to be playing well is 2-to-1.
What Morrison has to hope for is for Leonard to play with care. She’s fouled out of three games this year and played with four fouls in four other contests. In fairness, Leonard has only collected three fouls or fewer in games going back to Jan. 2. Keep the point guard on the floor and Carroll’s chances of winning increase dramatically.
Coming in threes
Everything points to junior post Anna Hurlburt taking control of the role as the third scorer. After all, she’s third on the team in scoring at 11.4 points per game.
Call it a blip, but Hurlburt combined to only score 13 points in games against Colleyville Heritage and Haltom. But she came back in a big way against Hurst L.D. Bell this past Friday with 15. When she puts it up, there’s literally a 50-50 chance she’s going to score. Hurlburt leads the team in field goal percentage with 48 percent. Actually, Carroll is having a pretty good shooting year at 43 percent.
However, Carroll still needs to be better with free throws. The Lady Dragons are shooting 64 percent so far.