NEW CARLISLE — Trotwood-Madison’s girls high school basketball team had been mauling opponents all season long. They averaged nearly a 35-point margin in their 21 wins this season. And so when the second seeded Rams came into Tecumseh High School’s gym to take on the No. 4 seeded Carroll Patriots, they were expected to win.
Carroll its own plans. And they lived up to their own expectations with a shocking 52-41 win over Trotwood-Madison, Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Division II district semifinals.
“We tried to emphasize to the girls early on that composure was going to be a major component in this game and towards beating them. Trotwood is a great team, and we knew it was going to take a complete team effort in order to beat ‘em,” Carroll Head Coach Cecilia Grosselin said. “We talked a lot about composure, and keeping your cool, while playing your hardest.”
Even the Patriots players on the bench got into the act. When Trotwood was in front of the Carroll bench, the Patriots players would help in shouting encouragement. The rowdy bench seemed to help unnerve the Rams early on.
Greater Western Ohio Conference, American South division champ Trotwood (21-3, 13-1 GWOC South) turned the ball over on five of its first seven possessions of the game, and each miscue drew an even louder cheer from the Pats’ bench.
Meanwhile, the Carroll starters reeled off a 10-2 run to nab a 12-2 lead.
“We try to get everyone involved on the team. We need their support and we need their spirit, and it really helps the players out on the floor. They draw their intensity from that,” Grosselin said. “… We don’t do it to try and shake them up, we do it for spirit and to give our girls a charge.”
Trotwood never had a lead in the game.
Carroll, the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North division champions (16-9, 9-1 GCLC North), was out in front 15-6 after the first stanza of play, then held onto that nine-point margin at the break, 27-18.
An intense stretch of Rams full-court defensive pressure enabled Trotwood to battle back to within four points of the lead on three different occasions in the third quarter, but Carroll held its own to lead 41-37 with eight minutes still to play.
Then in the fourth, an inside jumper from Trotwood’s Kellah Flucas inched the Rams within two points (41-39) with 6:41 remaining in the contest.
Again, Carroll maintained its composure. This time, the Patriots’ Liz Bush and Julia Keller combined efforts to go on a 7-0 scoring run to go back up by nine points, at 48-39, with 2:56 yet to play.
Trotwood never threatened again.
Bush led the Patriots with a game-high 21 points., Allie Stefanek finished with 11 points scored, Marina Stevens scored eight points, Ava Lickliter added seven and Keller finished with five. The five starters accounted for all of the Patriots’ points.
In the loss, Greater Western Ohio Conference scoring leader Shaiquel McGruder finished with 14 points, and fellow senior Mercedes Woodward finished with 13.
Carroll advances to Friday’s 5:30 p.m. March 2 District title game against Franklin, at Mason High School.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.