Give Bishop Carroll coach Lonnie Lollar a week to prepare and he will have the opposing basketball team dissected.
The proof was in Carroll's 54-18 victory over Valley Center on Thursday night. The Hornets were flustered when Carroll knew everything they ran on offense.
Carroll advances to play West for a Class 5A sub-state championship in Valley Center on Saturday.
"All the credit in the world to Coach Lollar," Valley Center coach Brett Flory said. "They guarded (our offense) the best anybody has all year. They guarded as well as any team I've seen at the high school level in the halfcourt."
Valley Center's offense revolves around Dylan McCullough (nine points) using ball screens. It was as if Lollar had fed the information into his players like robots.
"We didn't want (McCullough) to be able to do his right-hand crossover to his left hand," Carroll senior Chad Darland said, "because on film we saw he likes to shoot a pull-up on that."
When McCullough, or any other Valley Center ball handler, tried to run around a screen, Carroll kept them guessing with its defense.
"We started out with having our guard go under and staying with our man," said Carroll's Ben Dreiling, who scored a game-high 14 points. "Then we switched it and we also helped and recovered some. We worked on that all week. And if we didn't talk, coach put us on the baseline and we were running for it."
Each team established it was comfortable playing a half-court game early, as Carroll settled for a 20-8 halftime lead. The Eagles broke the game open when their defense created run-outs in the third quarter, where they outscored Valley Center 22-5.
"We weren't perfect, but we set the tone defensively tonight," Lollar said. "All great defensive teams communicate well and I thought we did a good job of that tonight."
Valley Center turned the ball over 13 times and missed 23 of its 28 shots, including a 1-of-13 performance on threes.
"He watches film more than any coach I've ever met," Darland said. "That's his strength. He's an X-and-Os kind of guy and that's how we play."
Valley Center (4-17) 6 2 5 5 — 18 Bishop Carroll (12-9) 11 9 22 12 — 54
VALLEY CENTER: Mayber 2 0-0 4, McCullough 2 5-9 9, Tormey 1 0-0 3, Taylor 0 2-2 2. Totals 5 (1) 7-11 18.
CARROLL: Darland 3 1-1 8, Sueper 1 4-4 7, Bieberle 1 0-0 2, Rohleder 4 4-5 12, Dreiling 4 5-6 14, Ta. Palmore 1 0-0 3, Sauber 1 1-3 3, Ty. Palmore 1 0-0 3, Reazin 0 2-2 2. Totals 16 (5) 17-21 54.