Playing in its first game since leading scorer Ashley Carrillo was lost for the postseason with a knee injury, the Bishop Carroll girls basketball team was in search of players to step up and fill the void.
No one player can replace what Carrillo brought to Carroll, the fifth-ranked team in Class 5A, but the trio of Autumn Lungwitz, Britney Ho, and Jadin Kaltenbach impressed their coach in Carroll’s 47-33 victory over Arkansas City on Thursday night in sub-state play.
Carroll (17-4) will host Maize (15-6) on Saturday at 6 p.m. with a berth in the Class 5A tournament on the line.
“I thought that everyone that came in stepped up for us,” Carroll coach Taylor Dugan said. “Autumn Lungwitz came in and guarded the post well. Brittany Ho is just a freshman and she came in. Jadin came in and took a charge. Everybody stepped up and did their job.”
The trio combined for just four points, but this game Carroll didn’t need a scoring threat from the post. The Eagles survived by employing a half-court trap and extending their pressure outside the arc, which Ark City could not handle.
Ark City turned the ball over 12 times in the first half as Carroll built a 24-18 advantage that it never lost.
“They really try to bully you on the wings and they’re good at it,” Ark City coach Adam Dorsey said. “We struggled getting just one pass into our offense and that right there was the difference.”
Without Carrillo, will have to evolve to reach its goal of playing in the state tournament. That means even more pressure on the defensive end, which it accomplished on Thursday.
“Our mentality was a little different this week without Ashley,” Carroll junior Brynn Maul said. “We’ve got to pick up our guard play and then we have to play great defense. When we get on a roll, we get a lot of steals and a lot of those fast breaks.”
Arkansas City (10-11), which won double-digit games for the first time in a decade according to Dorsey, cut the Carroll lead to four points with three minutes remaining in the game.
Dugan called a timeout, drew up a play in the huddle, and watched as her team executed it perfectly with Ashton McCorry setting up her defender for a back cut and Maul sending a lob to the basket to a cutting McCorry.
The basket sparked a 10-0 run to close the game for Carroll. McCorry (10), Mary Kate Cundiff (10), Maul (nine), and Whitney Bockover (eight) combined for 37 points, while Kaitlyn Potter scored a game-high 18 points for Ark City.
“They were pretty confident they knew the play and that’s the thing, you have to have that confidence,” Dugan said. “They did and they executed it so well. They set their screens and they made great passes. We needed that little two to give us a little more.”
And although Lungwitz, Ho, and Kaltenbach didn’t score much, their effort and defense inspired hope in Carroll that it can survive Carrillo’s injury.
“We knew it was going to be tough and we were all going to have to step up,” Cundiff said. “Autumn had her best game she’s ever played and Brittany is just a freshman coming off the bench. I thought we all stepped up to the challenge.”
ARK CITY: Potter 18, Weathers 4, Smith 4, VanDeventer 3, Banta 2, Womack 2.
CARROLL: Cundiff 10, McCorry 10, Maul 9, Bockover 8, Schuckman 2, Sauber 2, Allen 2, Lungwitz 2, Ho 2.