SPRINGFIELD — Kelley Austria of the Dayton Carroll High School girls basketball team earned a scholarship to the University of Dayton mostly because of her inside prowess, not her outside shooting.
So when the 6-foot senior, who had made seven 3-pointers all season entering a Division II regional semifinal against DeSales on Tuesday, March 6, made three in a row late in the first half, Stallions coach Brian Cromwell could do little more than shake his head and hope his team kept the game close.
Carroll made sure that wouldn’t happen, outscoring DeSales 18-2 in the third quarter to turn a once-close game into a 54-33 win at Springfield.
“You go in at halftime down 13 (30-17) and you feel like if you knock a couple shots down and get a couple stops, you can get some momentum going. They were able to get the momentum going,” Cromwell said. “It’s hard. It’s frustrating. You have to have things go your way against a great team like that and tonight, it just wasn’t our night.”
Austria had a game-high 15 points and Madison Schroeder added 10 for Carroll (23-2), which advanced to a regional final Friday, March 9, at Springfield.
Tyler Craig had 13 points and Kelsey Albanese added 10 to lead the Stallions (17-8), who closed the game on a 12-0 run mostly against Carroll’s reserves.
DeSales committed six turnovers and was 0-for-5 from the floor in the first 4 minutes, 30 seconds of the third quarter, during which time Carroll extended its lead to 42-17. A Craig layup briefly halted the run, but DeSales didn’t threaten again. Carroll led by as much as 33 midway through the fourth.
“We don’t see many zone defenses all year because in the GGCL (Girls Greater Catholic League), a lot of teams go hard in man-to-man,” Carroll coach Rob Berry said. “So we threw in a few extra plays and were real patient and we were able to get some good shots. When we had nine assists in the first half, we knew our offense was working.”