TROTWOOD — Carroll’s youthful squad may be figuring out a way to avoid feeling tournament pressure.
Just don’t play in close games.
The fourth-seeded Patriots stormed out to an early double-digit lead and cruised down the stretch in a 68-39 win against No. 3 Tecumseh on Tuesday in its second Division II sectional tournament game at Trotwood Madison High School.
It comes on the heels of a 25-point win its tournament opener a week ago that wasn’t as close as the lopsided score could indicate.
“I don’t know if they really know what it’s all about yet,” head coach Cecilia Grosselin said. “As you keep winning, you get more crowds and more excitement, so they’re going to find out.”
Five Patriots scored at least nine points against the Arrows, led by a pair of freshman with Kiera Healy’s 15 and Maura Petrovic’s 10.
The few veterans on the Patriot’s squad played big roles in the balanced scoring effort though too. Meghan Parlette connected on a season-high four threes and Ellie Meyer also had 10 as Carroll had 10 different players score in the win.
“We’re not trying to be as selfish as possible,” Healy said. “We’re just trying to get the best shot on the team.”
Carroll did that with plenty of success against Tecumseh, making 19 of its 34 attempts inside the arc while only committing five turnovers in the first three quarters.
The game was a rematch of a regular season contest that Carroll won by 16 and scored a season-high 88 points on the road just under three weeks ago.
This time out, Grosselin said they wanted to focus on defense. Four unanswered runs of 11 points to open the game, seven before halftime, 13 spanning the third and fourth quarters shows and finally 12 points in the closing minutes shows the team got the message.
“We were kind of committed to going to get a stop on defense to continue on with our offense and hopefully have the two gel,” Grosselin said.
It has worked in two tournament games for a young team that hasn’t had to learn it’s not always as easy to play in win or go home games as they have made it look so far.
A date with No. 2 Waynesville is next in the sectional finals at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.