VALLEY CENTER — Bishop Carroll's boys basketball team lost in the first round of the Class 5A tournament last season, but that's not why Golden Eagles coach Lonnie Lollar had redemption on his mind after Carroll beat West 49-32 in a sub-state final on Saturday.
Lollar forgot Carroll's jerseys on the team's trip to Topeka last season, so the Eagles were forced to wear jerseys loaned by Topeka Highland Park. When Carroll returns to the state tournament this week, Lollar assures it will be in familiar green and yellow.
"The good thing about it is we're going to get to wear Bishop Carroll uniforms and not somebody else's," Lollar said. "I'm not going to screw that up again. We're going to wear Bishop Carroll's this time."
Carroll jerseys aren't a necessity for one to recognize the habits that have helped the Eagles reach the state tournament for the third time in four years and fourth in six.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Lollar grimaced as he described Saturday's game as "ugly", but his apologetic tone is unneeded because Carroll is best when it mucks things up.
The Eagles have nearly perfected their unsightly style and aren't as affected by roughness as their opponents, who don't exhibit the patience Carroll does and are lulled into turnovers and poor shots.
Carroll took 29 free throws and had a 37-27 rebounding advantage thanks primarily to the 17 rebounds from senior Brian Rohleder, who also tabbed 13 points. The Eagles held West to single-digit scoring in the first three quarters by holding down two of the Pioneers' best scorers.
With a focus on limiting penetration, Carroll held Jay Bradley and Daylin Thomas to one combined point on 0-for-8 shooting. Bradley couldn't get into the lane for easy baskets or to dish off to Thomas, whose foul trouble also contributed to his lack of production.
With no dependable scoring, West trailed by double digits for all but 57 seconds of the second half.
"This team means a hell of a lot to me," Lollar said. "We go way beyond the basketball court. Those kids were at my mother's funeral this summer. They've been there when I've been happy, they've been there when I've been mad and they've been there when I've been sad. I really do love this team and I couldn't be happier for them."
West (6-16) 4 7 7 14 — 32 Bishop Carroll (13-9) 11 8 13 17 — 49
WEST: Kelly 4 0-2 8, Bradley 0 0-2 0, McCoy 0 2-4 2, Flournoy 2 1-2 5, Banks 1 2-4 4, Hardy 2 3-8 7, Thomas 0 1-2 1, Griffin 2 1-2 5, Mboob 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 (0) 10-26 32.
CARROLL: Newell 2 0-0 4, Ta. Palmore 4 2-3 11, Bieberle 1 0-0 2, Sueper 0 1-4 1, Dreiling 5 8-8 18, Rohleder 4 5-12 13. Totals 16 (1) 16-29 49.