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For the Lady Panthers, Thursday’s game against Villa Madonna was a missed opportunity.
First half fouls and turnovers were contributing factors in Carroll’s 46-23 loss Thursday Dec. 27, in the opening round of the North American Stainless basketball tournament at Carroll County High School.
The Lady Panthers committed 12 first half fouls, six of which were “silly fouls,” head coach Paul Stone said, which impacted their game plan, especially in the second quarter. The team committed 23 fouls total. However, Villa Madonna hit just 14-25 of their free throws, in line with their 54 percent season average.
Neither team could control the basketball, as Carroll racked up 25 turnovers and Villa Madonna had 21.
As the second quarter began, starters Tatum McIntyre and Miranda Groseclose were already sitting on the bench with two fouls. A minute and a half later, key sub Kirsten Arvin also was sitting with two fouls and Carroll had already racked up to nine team fouls.
“Quit fouling!” Stone told his players.
Despite the fouls, Carroll was only down one point, 9-8, with about five minutes to go in the half. Villa Madonna scored with 4:45 to go, and on the next possession, Chasity Burgin was called for an illegal screen, giving the ball back to the Blue Lightning.
A few plays later, Villa Madonna hit two straight baskets, 15-8, while the Lady Panthers struggled against the press.
“Once most of our starters were out of the game, the press really hurt us,” Stone said.
The Blue Lightning put together a 10-point offensive spurt in the last 1:20 of the first half, expanding the Carroll deficit to 25-8.
The Lady Panthers drought continued into the third quarter until Groseclose hit a pair of free throws at 5:54, scoring her team’s first points in almost 12 minutes. The teams exchanged baskets, and Carroll did not score again until a 3-pointer by Kristen “Doodle” Amick with 50 seconds left in the quarter. The third quarter ended with the score 34-16.
Stone picked up a technical foul with 3:43 remaining, and Villa Madonna subbed in Maria Blom, who hit both free throws.
Carroll’s offensive struggles continued, as Makena Kindoll’s field goal with less than two minutes to go was their first points in the quarter. However, the Lady Panthers ended on a high note, scoring the last seven points of the contest.
Villa Madonna’s Lauren Dumaine led all scorers with 21 points, including three 3-pointers. Groseclose led Carroll with nine points, followed by Kindoll, seven points; Amick, three points; Arvin, two points; and McIntyre, two points.
The Lady Panthers were without starting center Lauren Moore, who was out of town with her family.
The Lady Panthers played two more games in the NAS tournament Friday and Saturday. However, results were unavailable by press time due to early holiday deadlines.
Stone said his team needs to improve its decision making in order to be successful. “The girls have to figure out when we stop committing fouls and turning the ball over, we’ll start to win some games.”