By Carol McIntire
CARROLLTON – The Lady Warriors watched a 17-point second quarter lead vanish on senior night, but held off the Wildcats from Canton South for a 44-51 win.
When the two teams met earlier in the year, the contest went into overtime. The Warriors came away with the win.
Saturday evening in the CHS gym, the Wildcats had a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime, but Brook Noll’s three-point shot from the corner at the buzzer sailed over the basket and the Warriors came away the victor.
“We actually talked about fouling and sending them (Canton South) to the foul line during the final time out (with 9.1 seconds left in the game) but decided against it,” said Carrollton Coach Craig Rodger. “Fortunately, it worked out for us.”
The Wildcats’ full court press forced several Carrollton turnovers in the third period and allowed them to cut the lead to 35-33 when Noll scored a layup off a steal at the 2:42 mark.
The Warriors edged ahead to lead 41-35 at the end of the third period, but failed to score any points in the fourth quarter until the 1:43 mark, while the Wildcats chipped away at the lead.
With Carrollton leading 41-39, Jaci Pridemore sank both ends of a one-and-one to increase the margin to 43-39.
Canton South freshman Mallory Mount sank a shot from the right corner with 39 seconds left to pull her team back to within two points.
Carrollton senior Mikayla Poole, who was inserted back into the game in the fourth period after sitting out with four fouls, went to the foul line with 36.8 seconds left, but missed both shots.
The Wildcats quickly took the ball up court and released a shot, which missed the hoop, but had three more chances when sophomore Morgan Dalton pulled down three offensive rebounds and put them back up, but none were successful.
Carrollton senior Maysie Rogers pulled down the rebound off Dalton’s third shot and was immediately fouled. She went to the charity stripe and sank one of two bonus shots with 13.8 seconds left to increase the margin to three points.
Canton South took the ball out of bounds, drilled up the court and called a time out with 9.1 seconds to set up their final play. The Wildcats took an unsuccessful shot, got the rebound and passed the ball to Noll who put up the final shot.
“Give credit to their team and the program they have at Canton South,” said Coach Rodgers. “They are scrappy and don’t give up. Jim (Gotshall, head coach) does a great job. He got the girls to buy into his program and they are finding success.”
Wildcat junior Megan Mitchell led all scorers on the night with 21 points, including all seven of her team’s first quarter points. She fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
Senior Maysie Rogers led the Warriors with 17 points. Poole added nine and Pridemore chipped in six. In her first varsity start, sophomore Malina Moore scored four points and pulled down five rebounds. Husted grabbed four rebounds and scored five points. Freshman Abby Laizure rounded out the scoring with three points.
Senior night was special for Coach Rodgers and eight senior players: Rogers, Darci Leary, Poole, Pridemore, Husted, Cassidy Laizure, Angela Starre and Gubesch. All played their final home game in a Warriors uniform.
When Coach Rodgers was asked about the group of seniors what senior night meant to him and players, his reply was simple, “it’s special.”
“To have a group of eight seniors, well you don’t see that very often. I’ve been coaching 11 years and have never seen it. To see eight girls play and stay together all these years means our program must be doing something right.”
He talked about the legacy the girls leave behind.
“This group has meant a lot to the younger girls in the program, not only the underclassmen on the high school team, but the junior high program as well. Their composure and pride is outstanding. I don’t know that we’ll ever have a group like this again.”
Earlier in the week, the Warriors handed Alliance a 54-28 loss.
Three Warriors scored in double figures: Rogers with 11 and Poole and Pridemore each with 10. Pridemore also had 10 rebounds.
Cassidy Laizure scored six points, Abby Laizure, five; Husted and Gubesch, each four; and Moore and Glass, each two. Pridemore and Poole each dished out three assists. Poole also had four steals.