Literally seconds after Northwest guard Eric Lolar connected on a three-pointer for the Grizzlies’ first points of the game Tuesday, Bishop Carroll’s Connor Evans hauled in a pass for a dunk at the other end.
It was the sort of transition offense the Northwest defense couldn’t contain all night in Carroll’s 66-45 rout of the Grizzlies.
“We got a lot of transition baskets, we got a lot of paint points. And I think Connor Evans’ dunk kind of inspired us in the first quarter,” Carroll coach Lonnie Lollar said. “A lot of that you have to credit to Christian Smith. He did a good job of finding the big guys. Our guys ran lanes well and Christian Smith found them in the open court.”
Smith, Carroll’s senior point guard, finished with 11 points of his own, but was instrumental in finding 6-foot-6 senior Logan Bullinger, who finished with a game-high 20 points. Austin Larkin added 12 points.
“Our defense really clicked in. We go from defense and once our defense goes it really fuels our offense and that’s what we did,” Smith said. “We regrouped from a tough weekend and we feel like that’s how we can play. We can get up and down with most of the teams in the City League.”
Carroll wasted little time in pulling away from Northwest. The Eagles led 6-0 before Lolar’s opening three, and held a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Northwest trailed 24-8 before finally finding its own transition game. A Grizzly steal led to a Lolar layup, the beginning of a 13-2 run to end the half for Northwest.
“We let up when we got that big lead. We told our guys that we have to put our foot on the throat again,” Smith said. “So that’s what we did.”
Carroll opened the half with a three-pointer from Larkin, who followed an easy Tyler Palmore bucket off of an inbound play with two more transition baskets before Northwest knew what hit them.
Carroll outscored Northwest 19-7 in the third quarter to effectively put the game way.
Northwest and Carroll are both 5-7 overall, 3-5 in the City League.
“It seems like this year in the league you never know what’s going to happen. There hasn’t been a ton of consistency with the exception of North,” Lollar said. “It depends on what night it is and tonight we were the hot team.”
Northwest was led by Aaron Nicholson’s 12 points, with 11 more coming from Lolar.
Northwest — Nicholson 4 0-0 12, Lolar 4 2-2 11, Williams 3 0-0 7, Carson 2 0-0 4, Carr 0 4-6 4, Kaufman 1 0-0 2, Grant 1 0-0 2, Darr 1 0-0 2, Cobb 0 1-2 1. Totals 16(6) 7-10 45.
Carroll — Bullinger 8 4-5 20, Larkin 5 0-0 12, Smith 4 2-6 11, Palmore 2 1-2 6, Loy 2 2-3 6, Evans 3 0-1 6, Benoit 1 0-0 2, Bieberle 0 1-2 1, Hohl 0 1-2 1, Smith 0 1-2 1. Totals 25(4) 12-23 66.