Carroll’s boys basketball team took its first loss of the season during a seven-team event Dec. 22 held in lieu of the annual Summit Athletic Conference Holiday Tournament.
The No. 12 Chargers were one of five ranked teams to participate in the six-game event, hosting No. 4 Homestead, No. 10 South Bend Adams, No. 14 Warren Central, No. 19 Brownsburg, Bishop Dwenger and Canterbury.
The Chargers won their first game against Brownsburg 54-51 with junior Jalen Jackson scoring a game-high 20 points. Senior Sam Strycker added 16 points, and he and Jackson each pulled down eight rebounds.
Carroll’s second game of the day resulted in a 57-54 loss to South Bend Adams.
“It gets us two quality opponents on the same day to see what our guys got,” Carroll Head Coach Marty Beasley said of the first-time event. “I think it takes a lot out of a kid to play a good game against Brownsburg — a good team — and then to come back to the next game and play another good team, so it takes a lot out of kids that do that to see how tough they are. I thought we were tough at times, we were just not tough enough until the end.”
Carroll scored just eight points in the second quarter, giving up a 7-0 run to the Eagles to close out the first half. Jackson led all scorers with 14 points through the first two quarters.
In the final eight minutes of the game, the Eagles never led by more than six points, but held Carroll off at the free throw line.
“Against a team that quick, we’re trying to keep them in front of us, and we gave them back cuts,” Beasley said. “They got to the basket way too easy numerous times when they split us. We weren’t in our help gaps. … That just kills you. You can’t give up layups.”
Jackson matched his 20-point performance from earlier in the day, while grabbing a team-high seven boards and making nearly 82% of his shots. Senior Ryan Preston added 15 points, and Strycker scored 10.
The loss ended a perfect 6-0 start to the Chargers’ season.
“I think we can play with about any team,” Beasley said. “We have good enough players to go out and compete and play against them. Two games in one day is tough. I think we had two really good matchups for us to get better, and the second one here, they’re very good. It’s kind of … like a regional. We prepared for one team only — we didn’t prepare for (Adams) because it’s a short turnaround, and I think that we didn’t do a very good job with just a 10-minute walkthrough that we had.
“I hope that we can execute better. It’s been a thing that we’ve dealt with the last few weeks just in terms of executing a set play. We were in the wrong spot too many times. Defensively, I thought that we were not locked in, giving them way too many easy baskets. We were just kind of a step slow, it looked like.”
The Chargers will take a break in their schedule before hosting Bishop Dwenger (3-3) on Jan. 8. The Saints fell to South Bend Adams 61-54 at Carroll before defeating Canterbury 58-35.
Also competing in the Dec. 22 event, Homestead won two straight in games against Warren Central (63-60) and Brownsburg (81-55). Luke Goode led the team with 46 points on the afternoon.