SPRINGFIELD — They’d been there before, and they were ready.
Carroll held a very talented Germantown Valley View bunch to just 19 points, while racking up enough of a scoring margin to earn a running clock in the final quarter, for a solid 57-19 win, March 3 in what was supposed to have been a very competitive Division II regional semifinal game at Springfield High.
The Patriots (22-5) held a 26-12 advantage at halftime, then limited a Spartans team that averages 52 points a game to seven points the rest of the way.
“I think our girls were ready,” Carroll Coach Cecilia Grosselin said. “They were mentally ready, physically ready … and I was really really proud of Allie Stefanek. She’s been on varsity for four years and she had a little bit of a rough start at the beginning of this year, due to illness and a couple other things. And she just really blossomed tonight and put the team on her back.
Stefanek, who finished the regular season second in the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed in assists with 78, scored a season-best 18, while Julia Keller — the team’s leading scorer — finished with a game-high 21. Sarah Ochs added eight points, Charlotte Ruble and Ava Lickliter scored four points each, and Jill Roberts scored two.
The Patriots senior point guard said the team knew they were in for a challenge from Valley View (22-4), who are the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Southwestern Division champs with an undefeated 12-0 division mark just two games ahead of Bellbrook.
“This meant everything to us. We knew coming into it that it would be a good game. We only beat them by four (42-38 in Germantown back on Dec. 30), and so we knew they weren’t just gonna hand it to us,” Stefanek said. “We pushed ourselves all week, and we just prepared like we knew that we could win. We practiced knowing who we needed to guard, and what plays we had to run. … I just think we came out really strong.”
Carroll scored the first five points, on an inside score from Keller and an Ochs 3-pointer from the right side.
A pair of Lauren Legate free throws pulled the Spartans to within three points at 5-2, but that’s as close as Valley View would get the rest of the way.
The Patriots outscored Valley View, 31-7, in the second half.
Abigail Dickson and Claire Henson led the Spartans with five points each.
Carroll will now face a familiar GCL Co-Ed foe in the regional championship game at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6 in the Springfield High gym: Cincinnati Roger Bacon, a 53-51 winner over No. 9-ranked Plain City Jonathan Alder in Tuesday’s earlier game.
Roger Bacon won the GCL Co-Ed regular season crown with a 12-2 league record, with Carroll placing second (tied with Purcell Marian) just a game behind at 11-3.
Carroll and Roger Bacon split their home-and-home series in the regular season. Carroll won, 43-38, in Riverside back on Nov. 30, 2019; Roger Bacon claimed a 74-72 overtime win on Jan. 4 in Cincinnati.
“We told the girls (in the locker room), ‘Enjoy the evening. Enjoy tonight. But tomorrow it’s back to work.’ ” Grosselin said.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.