By Jordan Miller
Sports Editor –
The Carrollton Lady Warriors basketball team’s historic season came to an end March 1 with a 40-27 loss to the top-seeded West Holmes Knights in the regional semifinals at Zanesville High School.
It was a regional atmosphere from the start – loud music during warm up, student sections for each team and lots of dedicated fans making the drive to support their home team.
The Warriors, who made their first appearance in regional play in the school history, struck first in the opening quarter. Carrollton sophomore Cailee Husted put up a shot that was off the mark. Angela Starre pulled down the rebound and attacked the basket for a pair of second chance points. The Warriors led 2-0, their only lead of the night.
West Holmes junior Samantha Hall matched her down the court for two.
With the game tied at 2-2, Brittleigh Macaulay put the Knights in the lead with a layup.
The Lady Warriors trailed 9-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Macauley found Hall at the top of the key for a three-point shot increasing the Knights’ lead to 12-4 to start the second quarter. Hall drove to the basket for an easy layup to put the Knights up 14-4.
Trying to gather their thoughts, Carrollton Coach Craig Rodgers called a timeout with 6:19 remaining in the opening half.
Coming out of the timeout, Ali Poole found Roz Pridemore in the paint. She put the shot up for two and the Warriors trailed by eight.
West Holmes held onto a 21-9 lead at halftime.
Carrollton came out of halftime and cut the lead to 24-16 with a Starre three-pointer and a couple fast break layups.
Carrollton trailed 30-22 heading into the final frame.
Ali Poole pulled her team within five points with a corner three-pointer shot at the 5:31 mark. With a momentum swing in the Lady Warriors favor, Rodgers called a timeout.
Hall silenced the Warriors crowd coming out of the timeout scoring two points in the paint. With five minutes remaining in the game, Starre found Husted for the bucket. Carrollton trailed 32-27 with 4:31 remaining in the game.
The Knights went on an 8-0 run to end the game and secure the win.
“We never quit. That is what I love about this team.
“We kept fighting and let the score take care of itself,” stated Coach Rodgers. “They are a well balanced team. I did feel that we could have rebounded a little better than what we did. They got a lot of second chance opportunities that kept us on defense longer than we would have liked.”
“We will definitely miss Ali and Roz next year. They have both stepped up this year and became huge role models for our younger players. They are great examples of student-athletes and have worked so hard to create a positive atmosphere within our basketball program,” mentioned Coach Rodgers.
Rodgers also noted, “ I don’t think I can pick just one highlight. We had so many accomplishments, big games, records broken and titles won. I feel the entire season was a highlight. We played 27 games this season and you could pull something from every one of them.”
In closing, Rodgers stated, “I would like to add that we have the greatest fans around. The support we received this year carried us through a lot of games. We can’t thank them enough for their travel time, cheering, smiles and hugs. They have made a huge impact on us and I hope that we have done the same for them. ”