South’s girls basketball teams needs these uncharacteristic games. Games like Friday night against Carroll, when South’s offense turned the ball over and only scored six points in the first quarter.
What makes these games important, according to coach Antwain Scales, is finding a way to win, as South did 47-34 over the Golden Eagles.
“It was just a bad night, and hopefully we can erase it, and regroup,” Scales said. “It’s always a luxury to get the win even when you play bad, so it was a good test for us. We need those tests down the line where we just have to find a way to win.”
Carroll’s defense was relentless, forcing seven South turnovers in the first quarter, and not allowing a field goal until the final seven seconds of the period from Kirea Rogers. But that basket put the Titans up 6-4 over Carroll heading into the second quarter.
Rogers’ timely plays didn’t stop at her first-quarter basket. After South built a 12-point lead, Carroll went on a 6-0 run in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to six. But Rogers stole the ball and scored two points to restart South’s momentum, and sparked a 10-4 run with two rebounds and two free throws, propelling the Titans to a 13-point win.
Rogers finished with seven steals, two blocks and eight points. Kendrian Elliot scored 17 points, and Eledria Franklin’s 12.
“We just weren’t strong with the ball,” Carroll coach Taylor Steven said. “That’s the thing about Rogers, if we’re not strong with the ball, we’re going to get it stolen from us. We can’t win a basketball game when we do that.”
The Golden Eagles committed one less turnover than South for the entire game.
“We tried to keep up with their defense, and when we stole it, on the offensive end there were numerous times where we would turn the ball over, or miss the basket," Steven said.
The Golden Eagles sent South to the line five times in the final minute, and South went 8 for 10 during that time while Carroll went 1 for 3 from the field.
“We are still defending state champs, so you tend to have these games from time to time, especially from us psychologically thinking you’re better than you are, losing focus, and also everybody gunning for us,” Scales said. “It makes us understand that on any given night you’re capable of coming out on the losing end, and we’ve got to play better, we’ve got to play smarter, and we’ve got to play harder.”