MASON — Carroll coach Cecilia Grosselin knew Cincinnati Mariemont was a big team. She didn’t know whether they were quick, though. And so from the very start, she had her Patriots girls basketball team run against the Warriors in Friday’s March 3 Division II district title game at Mason Arena.
Carroll simply out-quicked the taller Warriors, and rolled to a 58-29 win to record the school’s eighth district championship in the history of Carroll girls basketball.
“That was kind of our game plan. We were going to run at them and do what we have been able to do all season, and that’s to score in transition,” Grosselin explained, moments after cutting down the Mason Arena nets. “I told the girls, ‘You gotta keep running at them. Run hard, and eventually they’ll wear down.’”
Mariemont appeared surprised by the Carroll players’ quickness. The 21-3 Warriors fouled the speedy Patriots seven times in the game’s first seven minutes. Carroll responded by hitting 11 of 12 free throw opportunities in the quarter while rolling out to a solid 22-7 lead.
Carroll was never really threatened for the lead from then on.
Amanda Schroeder finished with a game-high 24 points, Morgan King put in 14, while Sydney Ingram, Julie Keller, Chloe Lloyd, Ellie Rumme and Dana Koesters combined for the team’s other 21 points.
The Patriots last won a district title in 2013.
“It’s been a long process for us. We knew we could have a really good team this year, and this had been our goal,” Schroeder said. “But we’re not satisfied yet. We want to go really far. We want to make it to regionals, state, everything. We know we could probably end up playing Alter, so we’re going to keep working hard for that.”
Carroll lost twice during the regular season to Kettering Alter, its Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North Division rival. The most recent time the two teams met, Alter had to rally late in the contest to claim a 32-31 win.
Mariemont coach John Weilbacher said he and his players knew Carroll was a good team.
“Obviously they are really good, but they were better than we thought. They played really well tonight,” he said. “We knew they were a good free-throw shooting team — they were 17 of 18 in the first half, I think — and we were 1 for 9 in the half, so that hurt us.
“We thought we could hang with them if we stayed in a zone defense, but once they got a good lead on us, we had to go man-to-man and they took advantage of that. Carroll’s a very good team.
Mariemont’s 6-foot-5 center Rebekah Justice led the Warriors with 14 points. Weilbacher said Justice has signed to play collegiately at Division-I Iona University next year. Four Mariemont teammates accounted for the team’s other 14 points. Mariemont had garnered the No. 13 ranking in the final Associated Press D-II girls basketball regular season poll.
Carroll (22-4), the state’s No. 7-ranked team in the final AP poll will now advance to the Regional Semifinals to take on Columbus Independence, a 37-34 winner over Columbus Eastmoor, Friday night in Westerville. That regional semi is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at Springfield High School.
Alter and Tipp City Tippecanoe (a 43-40 winner over Bellbrook in Friday’s other district championship in Mason) will play in the other Springfield regional semi at 8 p.m.
Since Carroll’s win over Cincinnati Mariemont happened after the print deadline for Saturday’s March 4 newspaper, this is a web-only story from Friday’s game. You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.