RIVERSIDE — It has been awhile since Carroll’s girls high school basketball team could claim a victory over Greater Catholic League Co-Ed rival, almost five years in fact. But a solid start left no doubt that the Patriots would win this one on Jan. 10.
With recent transfer Liz Bush and Julia Keller combining for a quick 7-0 run to start the game, Carroll rolled to an eventual 43-26 win over the Knights. The last time a Carroll girls varsity basketball team had won over Alter was 10 games ago, a 42-38 win on Jan. 30, 2013 on the Patriots’ court.
The significance of a win over Alter wasn’t lost on Carroll coach Cecelia Grosselin.
“Alter is such a great team, any time we beat them it’s definitely something to be proud of,” Grosselin said. “They always play hard, and they have a great team and coaching staff. … I know that every single person I put in played really hard tonight. Whether they started or came in off the bench for us, I’m really happy with their effort.”
Sophomore forward Julia Keller led all scorers with 17 points, recently eligible Miami Valley transfer Liz Bush knocked in 10 first-half points, and point guard Allie Stefanek finished with six to lead the Patriots (9-4, 5-0 GCLC North).
Carroll led 18-5 after the first 8 minutes of play. They were up 24-8 at halftime and 37-13 after three quarters. Alter never got within single digits of the Pats again.
Alter coach Christine Hart lost six solid seniors from last season’s Division II state championship winning team. Despite an all junior and senior roster for this season, game experience was still missing.
“They were all really good players. Braxtin (Miller) has been the Big 12 Freshman of the Week twice, and the National Freshman of the Week once, Libby (Bazelak) is lighting it up over at Duquesne as a starter, and we have a kid that’s playing in Division III that starts, that makes quite a difference in your program,” Hart said. “And we play quite a schedule, too. It’s been different, but we knew it was going to be a difficult year.”
Junior forward Julia Paley led the Knights (3-9, 1-4 GCLC North) with six points, Kourtney Klug finished with five, and six other Alter players scored three points or less in the loss.
Alter had racked up a 40-0 record against GCL competition before this season.
Hart came away impressed with Carroll’s balance, especially with the addition of Bush, who just became eligible to play last week, after transferring over from Miami Valley.
“Bush is a nice addition to an already solid Carroll lineup,” Hart said. “To add her to an offense that already has Stefanek and Keller? They’re really going to be a tough team to beat in the postseason.”
Alter is scheduled to be back in action at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13 in a non-league tussle with Walnut Hills.
Carroll has the weekend off and will head to Wilmington for its next game, a 7:30 p.m. contest on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.