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Chandler, Heights girls put pressure on Carroll

Published Jan. 4 at 6:47 a.m. | Last updated Jan. 4 at 9:54 a.m.

In a search for entertainment, people have traditionally turned to the movies or going out to eat for their source of enjoyment.

A new option may be rising on the basketball courts at Heights. Under Kip Pulliam's reign, the Falcons have always produced a turnover-generating machine of a defense, but senior Taylor Chandler might be the best conductor he's ever had.

Watching Chandler on defense turns into a game of how long the offense can keep it away from her. On Tuesday night against Bishop Carroll, it wasn't long. Chandler collected seven steals that led to her game-high 20 points in Heights' 63-28 victory.

"She's so, so quick," Pulliam said. "She makes up for a lot of other people's mistakes. She puts so much havoc on the ballhandler that it's almost like having an extra defender out there."

Carroll has always prided itself with fundamental play under coach Don Racine. That's why Carroll's 25 first-half turnovers was such an impressive feat for Heights.

"That's huge," Pulliam said. "They're a well-coached team and (Racine) always does a great job with them. Any time you can do that to a top-five team in 5A, that's a big accomplishment."

While it is the entire Heights lineup that wears teams down, Chandler is usually the one to deliver the crushing blow.

As the first half wound down and Carroll attempted to hold for the final shot, Chandler stripped the ball away and finished at the other end to give Heights a 43-14 halftime lead. Chandler made all nine of her shots, mostly layups created from her defense.

"We just try to force them to one side, then if the trap comes then work them to that side," Chandler said. "I usually come up from behind and that works most of the time."

Carroll (4-2, 4-2 City League) usually is Heights' stiffest competition in the City League. But after the Eagles got within three points with 2:09 left in the first quarter, Heights (5-0, 4-0) turned it into a blowout.

"It's a different experience actually playing them," said Carroll's Jana Reichenberger, who finished with a team-high seven points and 12 rebounds. "They're all taller than we are and a lot quicker. You have to be smart and not turn the ball over."

That's easier said than done against Heights, which forced Carroll into 34 turnovers, especially with a ball hawk like Chandler.

"She's a great defender," said Heights' Joyea Marshall, who had 15 points. "She's really good as an on-the-ball defender and she just times it really well when to go after the steal.

"This was a big win for us. We worked really hard over break and it paid off."

Carroll (4-2, 4-2) 7 7 10 4 — 28 Heights (5-0, 4-0) 16 27 15 5 — 63

CARROLL: Powell 0 0-0 0, Schuckman 1 0-1 2, Demel 3 1-1 7, Miller 2 1-1 5, Reichenberger 2 3-6 7, Lopez 1 1-2 3, Oxler 1 0-0 2, Lynch 1 0-0 2, Schauf 0 0-0 0, Hogan 0 0-0 0, Doerneman 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 (0) 6-11 28.

HEIGHTS: Chandler 9 1-2 20, Palmer 5 1-2 11, Ivy 2 0-0 4, Marshall 5 5-6 15, Cyphers 0 0-0 0, Lynch 3 0-0 6, Horton 2 0-0 5, Bowen 1 0-1 2, Harding 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Owens 0 0-0 0, Drury 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 (2) 7-11 63.