Carroll leads early, often

By John Bombatch Sports Editor jbombatch@civitasmedia.com

January 18, 2014

RIVERSIDE — With the help of perhaps their best start to a boys basketball game this season, the Carroll Patriots pummeled a struggling Cincinnati Purcell Marian bunch, 60-34, Friday night at Carroll High.

Carroll (7-6, and now 1-5 in the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North Division) rolled out to an 8-0 run to start the game. A Jared Kieninger free throw, two-point scores from David Ivey and Tony Brown, and a trey off the left wing by Xander Smart led to the early run.

But moments after Purcell Marian coach Bryan Laake called a time out to stop the bleeding, the Patriots enjoyed scores by Ivey, Brown and Kieninger to grab a 14-0 lead barely six minutes into the game.

“This is about the midway point of the season, and I think our guys are starting to do a good job of getting the ball down the court, getting some good looks (at the basket), and taking care of the ball,” Carroll coach Tim Cogan said. “This is one of our best starts to a game, and what I like about our group is that you can see that we’re getting better.”

Ivey finished with a team-high 15 points while Smart tossed in 13 and Kieninger finished with nine to lead the Patriots.

Carroll had amassed a 34-14 lead at halftime over a frustrated Cavaliers contingent. Purcell’s Rashaad Ali-Shakir came in averaging 14.1 points per contest. He finished with a team-high 12 points, seven of which came in a mop-up role in the final quarter.

“I wish I could say that Carroll’s start was the difference in this game, but so far this season we’ve only been consistent at being inconsistent,” Laake said. “I think in every game we’ve played so far, we’ve had this type of stretch where we just can’t find a way to score, and we struggle on defense. We did about as little as we were supposed to in that first quarter as possible.”

Even plays that didn’t count were going the Patriots’ way. Midway through the third quarter, with Carroll comfortably in front 42-20, Patriot Noah Kummer fired a crosscourt pass that deflected off of Marian’s Jamel Howard right to Smart, who quickly hit the jump shot. Just as Cogan had drawn it up. Riiiiight.

The play was disallowed, however, because Cogan had called a time out moments before Smart’s shot.

Carroll’s next game will take place against a former Mid-Miami League foe: West Carrollton. That contest will take place Tuesday at Carroll High.

Laake said his Cavs, now 3-11 overall, 1-5 in the GCL Co-Ed’s Central Division, have 11 days before they’ll host Kettering Alter.

“It might give us some time to fix a lot of things, who knows? You can bet that we’ll be pushing them hard for at least eight of those 11 days,” he said.