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The Journal Gazette

Friday, January 12, 2018 9:50 pm

Carroll girls topple Bishop Luers

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

The Carroll girls knew Bishop Luers would be motivated Friday to avenge a loss in the SAC Tournament last month and the Chargers responded to the challenge with a big second half for a 64-33 home win Friday.

The teams met Dec. 29 in the SAC Tournament semifinals, a 70-35 Carroll win.

"I thought (Bishop Luers) came out and really had something to prove," Carroll coach Mark Redding said. "I told our girls this week that they were going to come out and they were going to come after us. We had to be ready for it.

"The problem is that when you beat a team the first time, sometimes you have let downs because you think you can show up and do it again. This team didn't do that. They came out and played very well and Luers played well, too. I thought our girls accepted the challenge."

The Chargers (13-5, 3-3 SAC) distanced themselves after halftime with a 20-7 third quarter and was able to empty the bench with three minutes left in the game, up 61-30.

"It feels really good (to get the win) because we knew they were going to come out with a chip on their shoulder so we just had to play our game," Carroll senior Kelli Damman said. "We came out a little slow in the first half but we came back in the second half and played our game.

"We just had to go with the flow and play our best defense. We weren't really playing the best we could (in the first half) and we started knocking down shots more (in the second half). I think we pressured the ball better in the second half and then we moved it around and hit open people."

The Chargers jumped to a 14-4 lead with 2:23 left in the first quarter, but the Knights (13-6, 2-5) responded with an 11-2 run to get within 16-15 with 33 seconds left.

Julia Miller hit a 3 just before the buzzer to end the quarter and Carroll made it a 10-point game again, opening the second quarter on a 7-1 run and led 30-19 at halftime.

"We just need to share the ball (in order to play our game)," Laney Steckler said. "We didn't do as well the first half and we weren't really helping on defense as much but the second half, we made the adjustment, we were sharing the ball and that's when their defense broke down and we could hit the shot.

"We just really needed to slow it down, we had a lead at the beginning and then we gave it back to them. We just had to do what we were doing to get the lead which was share the ball and help out on defense."

Steckler led all scorers with 17 points for the Chargers and Kathryn Knapke led Bishop Luers with 15 points.

An advantage of playing a team twice in a season is to gauge the growth and improvement against the same opponent.

Even in the two weeks since the teams last faced each other, Redding has seen his team improve on defense and adapt when shots weren't falling.

"I've seen improvement because I think our defense is better," he said. "I think we're a better defensive team, I think offensively when we move the ball and make that extra pass, we're a pretty good team.

"When we were playing them the first time, we were hitting everything and played that at a time where they upset a team and so we knew they were going to come in and give us their best shot. I think the girls handled it very well."

areichel@jg.net