KETTERING — In almost routine fashion, Carroll’s Julia Keller scored her 1,000th point midway through the second quarter. The Flyin’ To The Hoop game announcer told the crowd of the Patriot senior’s accomplishment, but play continued and Keller continued to score.
She scored a game-high 23 points — or 68 percent of the Patriots’ points — but it wasn’t enough as Beavercreek held on for a 39-34 win, Jan. 18 at Kettering Fairmont’s James S. Trent Arena.
Beavers coach Ed Zink said the key was to stop Keller, the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed’s co-scoring leader, and her teammate Megan Leraas (who came in averaging 10.5 points per game). Beavercreek stopped Lerass (no points), but Keller was another story.
“She’s tough in there,” Zink said. “She’s getting rebounds and a bunch of garbage points, because she out-physicals us. We wanted to keep people around her, but you can’t cover everything they do.”
It probably helped that Carroll (12-4) had a horrid shooting afternoon from three-point range. The Pats tied their lowest converted 3-point total of the season with three, and missed 20 others, for 13 percent.
Carroll coach Cecilia Grosselin truly appreciated Keller’s performance, but admitted that the missed threes really hurt.
“Julia’s invaluable to us, for defense, rebounds and offense, obviously,” Grosselin said. “We couldn’t get shots to fall today. Typically, we’re a better three-point shooting team, but not today.”
Keller came into the game needing nine points to reach the 1,000-point mark in her career. She hit nos. 999 and 1,000 with 4:08 left in the second quarter. Her score was the start of a 7-0 Patriots run to close out the first half, and leave Beavercreek with a 20-16 lead.
The two teams played relatively even in the second half, with Beavercreek (10-6) barely outscoring the Patriots by a 19-18 margin.
Morgan Rhoades came off the bench and scored 13 points to lead Beavercreek in scoring, and Maci Rhoades led both teams in rebounding with 11. Ashley Vaughn and Trinity Bean each scored seven points, Maci Rhoades added six, Anna Landing scored four and Tiernan McKitrick scored two in the Beavers’ first-ever appearance at Flyin’ To The Hoop.
Saturday’s game was the lone girls basketball contest on the four-day schedule of games, and both Greene County-area coaches said they felt honored to be there.
Carroll was originally scheduled to play in the showcase last season, but a snowstorm on the day of their scheduled game kept their opponent, Minster, from attending.
Both teams return to league action for their next games. Carroll will host GCLC foe Alter at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, while Beavercreek is back in action at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in Huber Heights for a Greater Western Ohio Conference game against Wayne.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.