South girls get back to business by routing Carroll
Kirea Rogers and her South teammates spent the days after their humbling loss to Kapaun Mount Carmel focusing on togetherness and playing as a team.
“And we ran a lot,” Rogers said.
Rogers, a junior forward, grinned as she said it. The smiles came a lot easier Friday, as South bounced back with a 41-23 victory at Bishop Carroll.
Rogers scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds for South (2-1), which entered the week ranked No. 1 in Class 6A by the coaches association. Carroll got 13 points from senior Jordyn Miller, but fell to 2-1.
“We were mad after our loss to Kapaun, and we knew that we had to bounce back,” said Rogers, who scored 14 points in the second half. “I was just focused and trying to work hard.”
While Rogers scored a season high, South’s defense stole the show throughout the game. The Titans held Carroll scoreless for more than 9 1/2 minutes in the first half and built a 17-8 halftime lead. Their tenacious halfcourt man-to-man also forced many of the Golden Eagles’ 19 turnovers.
South coach Antwain Scales agonized over many of the Titans’ 18 fouls. But he appreciated the defensive effort against a Carroll team that averaged 48.5 points in its first two games.
“We had to get back to the style we play,” Scales said. “For the most part, I’m proud of the girls for how they bounced back after what happened at Kapaun.”
Carroll, No. 6 in 5A, attempted just 25 shots in the game, making eight. South made it difficult for the Eagles to start their offense and throw entry passes.
“We were frantic tonight,” Carroll coach Taylor Steven said. “We didn’t set screens and we weren’t V-cutting to get open. It’s fundamental basketball, and we weren’t doing it tonight.”
A prime example of South’s defensive tenacity came midway through the fourth quarter. Miller got the ball inside and tried a layup, which Rogers blocked. Miller got the carom and tried to score again, but South’s Madison Northcutt swatted it away.
“We just feel like if we can hold teams under 40 points, under 30 points, we’ll be OK,” Rogers said.
Rogers went 8 of 11 from the field, scoring on a pair of steals in the third quarter. She also benefitted from solid passing from center Kendrian Elliott to score easy baskets. Elliott added eight points as South, which shot 50 percent from the field, got all of its points from its starters.
“I think South came out with a vengeance,” Steven said. “I think they’ve probably had a pretty rough week of practice, and they came out ready to play. We weren’t.”
South: Elliott 4 0-1 8, Franklin 1 0-0 2, Mattingly 1 2-4 5, Rogers 8 4-4 20, Northcutt 3 0-0 6.
Carroll: Lopez 0 1-4 1, B. Bockover 2 0-0 5, Doerneman 1 0-0 2, Miller 4 5-8 13, Maul 1 0-1 2.