MARION — Carroll’s girls basketball team stunned Homestead in the first half of the Marion Regional opener on Saturday afternoon, putting the Class 4A No. 3 team on its heels.
Homestead cruised to a comfortable 67-29 win over the Chargers in the regular season. Carroll took a 5-0 lead to start the first quarter and, after many missed opportunities by Homestead, the Chargers ended the first quarter with a 9-5 lead.
Carroll couldn’t sustain; however, and Homestead ran off with a 54-24 win to end the Chargers’ season.
Carroll’s lead could have been greater in the first quarter, as the offense was unable to score on five layups in a row, but it was the Chargers’ defense that shined, limiting shot opportunities for Spartan stand-out scorers Rylie Parker and Ayanna Patterson.
Parker got away from the Carroll defense to start the second quarter, knocking down a 3-pointer in the opening play to cut Carroll’s lead to one.
Homestead freshman Alison Stephens followed Parker’s 3-pointer with one of her own to give Homestead its first lead of the game, 11-9, with 6:37 left in the second quarter.
Carroll never saw the lead again.
The Spartans’ defense held the Chargers scoreless until the 3:20 mark of the second quarter, going on a 12-0 run to make the score 17-9 before Carroll’s Delane Sheets ended the scoring drought.
Charger Maggie Keinsley followed up Sheets’ basket with a field goal of her own, cutting Homestead’s lead to four.
Spartan Stephens ended the half with a pair of free throws, making the score 19-13.
Carroll hung close with the Spartans in the first four minutes of the third quarter, only giving up three points while adding two from Saniya Jackson.
The Spartans scored back-to-back 3-pointers halfway through the quarter — one by Parker and another from Stephens — to make the score 28-15.
Carroll finished off the third quarter playing even with the Spartans, as each team scored five points to make the score 33-20 going into the fourth.
Homestead’s Patterson caught fire in the fourth quarter. After a field goal by Carroll’s Malia Williams, Patterson scored five unanswered points.
Sheets hit on a pair of free throws with 5:38 left in the game, and that was the last time Carroll put points on the scoreboard for the rest of the game.
Parker and Patterson, and a host of other Spartans, accumulated 13 points in the last five minutes to end the game with the 51-24 score.
Jackson and Williams led Carroll with seven points apiece.
Parker led Homestead with 11, followed by Stephens, a freshman, with 10.
The Chargers end the season with a 17-7 record.