By Carol McIntire
CARROLLTON – In a make-up game Jan. 22 at Louisville, the Warriors picked up a 48-37 win over the Leopards. They returned home Jan. 24 where they soundly defeated Alliance 84-37 and lost to West Branch 39-30.
The highlight of the Louisville game was when senior Mikayla Poole surpassed the 1,000-point scoring mark in her career. Poole scored 16 points, including nine from beyond the three-point arc, and grabbed three rebounds to lead the Warriors.
The Warriors started out strong, tripling the Leopards’ offensive output and taking an 18-6 lead in the first quarter. The Leopards trailed 35-21 at the break and 42-26 after three periods. They outscored the Warriors 11-6 in the final period to cut the deficit to 11 points at the final buzzer.
Senior Jaci Pridemore led the team in rebounding with eight and scored six points.
The Warriors’ scoring was evenly divided among players. Maysie Rogers scored eight points, three of which came from beyond the three-point arc, and pulled down four rebounds; Cailee Husted pumped in 10 points, including six from three-point range; Angela Starre added four points before a knee injury sent her to the bench, Darci Leary dumped in two points; and Keirra Gubesch and Chloe Glass each sank a foul shot.
Ellie Jackson led the Leopards with 13 points, including two three-point shots, and pulled down four rebounds. Hanna Lautzenheiser added six points and Kayla Gibson chipped in five.
Carrollton got 33 of its 84 points against Alliance from three-point range. Husted sank four of those shots, Cassidy Laizure, three; Poole, two; and Gubesch and Rogers, one each.
Rogers got the Warriors on the board with a layup off a steal, Poole added a shot under the basket and Pridemore put in a shot from the lane to give the Warriors an early 6-0 lead.
Carrollton initiated a full court press that stymied the Alliance offense, forcing several turnovers in the opening period and led to a 29-6 Carrollton lead at the end of the first quarter.
Husted, Cassidy Laizure and Poole all hit from beyond the three-point arc in the second period as the Warriors stretched their lead to 51-15 at the break.
Poole kick started the Warrior scoring in the third period with a jump shot and then put a rebound back up and in. Husted hit a three-pointer and Poole sank a shot and was fouled, for a three-point play before the Aviators put a point on the scoreboard.
Carrollton outscored Alliance 14-6 in the quarter and took a 68-21 lead heading into the final period.
The Warrior starters turned the game over to the bench about midway through the final quarter to close out the victory.
Coach Craig Rodgers was proud of the performance of his team.
“Alliance is improving as a team,” he said. “Our goal was to continue to play hard in this game and do the things we need to do to continue playing better each game. We have some tough games coming up as we close out the regular season and we need to do things on the floor to prepare for those games.”
Five Warriors reached double figures during the contest. Poole led the Warriors with 26 points and five rebounds. Husted dumped in 21 points, Rogers and Cassidy Laizure each scored 11 and Gubesch chipped in 10. Rogers led the team in rebounds with eight rebounds and Darci Leary grabbed seven as they took over the rebounding duties for Pridemore, who was injured in the second period. She finished with two points. Rounding out the scoring were Abby Laizure with two and Shelby Rogers with a foul shot.
Carrollton vs. West Branch
Carrollton lost a tough game to league-leading West Branch Saturday in the CHS gym.
West Branch took the early lead and held on, leading 13-9 after the first quarter and 25-19 at the half. The final two periods were a defensive battle as West Branch scored a total of 14 points and the Warriors 11 during that period.
“It was a tough one,” said Coach Rodgers after the game. “We battled well and followed everything we wanted to do. The girls played their tails off. We missed a couple shots that would have made a difference. We also struggled at the free throw line, which is uncharacteristic for us.”
He gave credit to West Branch, which remains atop the league standings with a perfect record.
“They are a very good team and well coached. If we take anything from it, it’s that we have come the closest out of anyone this season.”
Poole led the Warriors with 15 points. Gubesch added six. Pridemore pulled down six rebounds.
Every player on the West Branch roster contributed points, led by Zukowski with 12 points. She also led the team with six rebounds.