The scoreboard suggested all was well, as Bishop Carroll’s girls limited visiting Northwest to one first-quarter point and one first-half field goal in a 45-32 victory on Tuesday.
But Golden Eagles coach Taylor Dugan wasn’t particularly enamored with her team’s defensive performance as Northwest found some offensive rhythm down the stretch.
“We’re trying to be an aggressive defensive team, but I don’t feel like we played that way tonight,” Dugan said. “We did some things right, but as far as fundamentals and what we’ve been working on for three weeks, I didn’t really see it.”
Still, Carroll improved to 2-1 by getting 13 points each from senior Shelby Lopez and junior Abby Sauber. Sauber, a reserve guard, made three of Carroll’s six three-pointers and was 5 of 5 from the field.
“I think Abby provided a spark for us, especially when we were lacking a little defensively,” Dugan said. “We could get the ball to her for a quick spark. It was nice.”
Carroll, No. 8 in the Class 5A state coaches rankings, bounced back from a 43-38 loss to South on Saturday by building an 11-1 lead after one quarter. The Eagles stretched the advantage to 22-9 at halftime as Northwest made just 1 of 12 field-goal attempts and committed 14 first-half turnovers.
“The first half, we were just pushing the ball way too fast down the court,” said Northwest senior Cassie Pauls, who scored a game-high 18 points. “We weren’t really looking at all of our options.
“The second half, we just got into our plays and were getting the shots we wanted.”
Northwest (1-1) cut its deficit to 27-17 on consecutive inbounds-play baskets by Pauls. But Sauber answered with a three-pointer. Then after a Northwest turnover, Sauber hit a 15-footer on a second-chance opportunity to stretch Carroll’s lead to 32-17.
“She didn’t get to play a lot of varsity last year, so this year, I think she’s just coming into her own,” Dugan said. “It’s nice because we need a shooter.”
Northwest finished with 24 turnovers and couldn’t pull within single digits until the game’s final minute. But Carroll’s defense left its coach wanting more.
“We will have a very defensive-minded practice tomorrow, that’s for sure,” Dugan said. “We’ve got to move our feet a little better and have layers upon layers of help.”