Now that Bishop Carroll’s girls are entering the part of the basketball season in which it’s win or go home, senior Brynn Maul is glad the Eagles faced West on Thursday.
West, in the midst of its best season since 2002-03, showed why by chipping away at an 18-point second-half deficit. But visiting Carroll held on, winning 45-43 to end the regular season.
Ashton McCorry scored 13 points and Maul added 11 for Carroll (16-4, 14-2 City League), which survived when West’s Samantha Gould couldn’t get a shot off from near midcourt before the final buzzer sounded.
“I’m glad we got to play them our last game (before sub-state),” said Maul, who stopped a 13-0 West run with a basket in the third quarter, then scored Carroll’s final point with 1:58 remaining. “They put us in our place.”
Carroll had its good moments, racing to an 11-0 lead in the first 31/2 minutes and opening the second half with a 10-2 burst for a 39-21 lead. But the Eagles, who defeated West 58-25 in January, were in a battle down the stretch after committing 19 turnovers.
“We had a pretty decent lead,” said Carroll coach Taylor Dugan, whose team lost only to South in league play. “Once we got it, we started turning it over and let them get buckets.”
West (12-8, 9-7), which has won 9 of 11 games since the additions of transfers Dy’mond McElrath and Destiny Pittman, was sparked by another transfer, senior Mia Hays. Hays launched the Pioneers’ comeback attempt with consecutive three-pointers, and added a third with 2:42 remaining to cut Carroll’s lead to 42-39.
“We came out slow and not ready to play in a sense,” Hays said. “At halftime, Coach (Brian Johnson) just told us we need to kick it into gear.
“We focused on our defense because that can lead you to the best offense.”
West, which got 13 points from McElrath and 11 from Pittman, trailed 29-18 at halftime. Carroll held a 21-10 rebounding advantage at that point, scoring several second-chance points. McCorry led the Eagles with eight rebounds, Maul had seven and Allison McFarren six.
“I was really proud of our girls for their rebounding effort,” Dugan said. “That takes aggressive effort and I can’t ever fault them for that. That’s my favorite thing in basketball.”
West outscored the Eagles 14-6 in the fourth quarter as Carroll committed seven turnovers. Two came in a quick sequence in the final 30 seconds. West’s Semaj Muldrow scored on a steal and layup to slice Carroll’s lead to 45-43. The Pioneers got the ball back seconds later, but turned it over and had to foul Carroll’s Whitney Bockover with four seconds to play.
Bockover missed both free throws, and West got the ball at midcourt with less than a second remaining. Gould took the inbound pass, but couldn’t get off a shot.
“It’s all about momentum,” Maul said. “When they got going, we just couldn’t get a spark. When we slowed it down a bit, it got us under control, but we kept turning it over.
“It should’ve been better.”
CARROLL: Schuckman 6, Bockover 2, Maul 11, McFarren 6, McCorry 13, Ho 7.
WEST: Bri. Johnson 8, Muldrow 2, Pittman 11, McElrath 13, Hays 9.