Carroll can’t catch up in loss to C.B. West

WHITEMARSH — The Central Bucks West girls basketball team arrived at the Colonial School gymnasium less than half an hour before the scheduled starting time for its PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal game with Archbishop Carroll Friday.

The fans who were stuck in traffic and didn’t get in the building until after the game began missed the minutes of play that established the Bucks’ supremacy over the Patriots.

While Carroll was stuck in reverse, C.B. West got rolling in high gear, dominating the first five minutes on the way to claiming a 60-45 decision and earning a semifinal matchup with Palmyra Tuesday night.

Central Bucks West (31-1) forced Carroll (19-9) into five early turnovers and scored the first 10 points. By the end of the opening period, the District One champions owned a 14-6 advantage, which they quickly blew up by scoring 12 consecutive points while the Pats were committing six turnovers in the second period.

“We passed the ball to them too much,’ Carroll coach Chuck Creighton said of his team’s first-half woes, which included 5-for-19 shooting from the floor in addition to the 11 turnovers.

“They ran a basic defense, but they always seemed to have somebody in the passing lanes.’

While the Bucks were having their way defensively, Mackenzie Carroll (19 points, four steals) was giving Archbishop Carroll fits at the other end of the floor, getting 14 of her points before halftime, with eight coming from the foul line — in eight attempts. Corrine Godshall, who had only one field goal in the first half, finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots and a pair of steals for West.

C.B. West used nine players in the first two periods, making frequent substitutions. Creighton had to use nine players in the opening half, in part because three of his five starters did not score and three Pats had two fouls. Junior Lexi Kucia came off the bench to score six points before halftime, while Bella Sorrentino contributed most of her 10 points and her three assists in the first two periods. She also chipped in with three steals.

“They have a good team and they share the ball,’ Creighton said. “We just didn’t get started offensively.

“I’m proud of all that our girls have done this season, coming this far. They all got better.’

Seniors Lexi Stover and Julia Gantz scored nine points in their last game in a Carroll uniform, while senior Ann McKnight didn’t score, but was solid defensively and added a pair of assists. Junior Jess Carney hit three 3-point shots in the fourth period for her nine points.

“This hurts, but I know that every day we had the best practices and worked very hard to get this far,’ said Stover, who missed part of the postseason after suffering a broken nose in a Catholic League playoff game at Cardinal O’Hara.

“When we were freshmen and just coming up, the seniors on our team tried to do what they could to help bring us along. That’s why it was important that we do that with the younger players we had this year.’

Carney, who watched her older sister, Jen, play in the state final, appreciated how the senior players handled themselves.

“All of us became a great group of friends,’ she said. “I’m going to miss (the seniors) a lot. I think the rest of us will be working as hard as we can this summer so that we can come back and do even better next year.’

McKnight’s defensive chores included trying to hold down Michigan-bound Nicole Munger, who got only one basket — the first of the game — but had three assists.

“(Munger) is a good player,’ McKnight said. “All of them were strong and very aggressive. We came out a lot better for the second half.

“The team we have coming back will be fine next season.’

To prepare for her next season, Munger has been training with Hall of Famer Theresa Grentz, the Cardinal O’Hara and Immaculata College player who coached at Saint Joseph’s, Rutgers and the University of Illinois as well as in the 1992 Olympic Games.

“She has helped me with everything,’ Munger said. “From shooting, to defense and all of the parts of my game.

“She always says that I’m there to learn, and that she’s learning too.’

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