And by the way the Carrollton High School girls basketball coach’s squad dismantled the Lady Yellow Jackets in a 61-32 drumming, the visitors from across the state line may not want a second game any time soon.
The Lady Trojans (1-0) used a 10-0 run to close out the first quarter for a 17-7 advantage and never looked back, finishing with seven players scoring at least five points, led senior guard Kenyata Hendrix’s 16-point night.
Of course, it was just Game 1 of the year for Carrollton — and being the perfectionist that he is — Thomaston said there are plenty of things to clean up on his team’s end, as well.
“You know me — it probably won’t ever be good enough. But for a first game with us having this many people out, I’ll take it. I keep telling my kids that I don’t want us to be real good right off the get-go. I want us to make some mistakes and have some stuff to work on and continue to get better as the season goes on,” Thomaston said. “But it’s good to have a lot of stuff to work on and still win.”
Carrollton forced 19 first-half turnovers en route to a 35-13 halftime lead and opened the second half on an 8-2 run to build a 28-point advantage. The Lady Trojans led by as much as 32 down the stretch, with all five starters and the top two girls off the bench all contributing in one way or the other.
Along with Hendrix posting 16 points and four steals, junior forward Brooklyn Emory dropped in 13 points — nine of which came in the fourth quarter — while sophomore guard Alecia North scored all eight of her points in the first half, to go along with three steals. Senior forward Tasmine Boykin also scored eight points with three assists, while senior center Taylor Love posted six points and a game-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Faith Swint and freshman guard Malaria Ranson each scored five points.
Jasmine Carter led the Lady Yellow Jackets (1-4) with 11 points and five rebounds.
Thomaston said getting that balanced scoring will be key once his ball club gets into the meat of the season.
“That’s exactly right. That’s one thing that we always talk about. A team can’t just take away one option. We’ve got multiple kids that are able to put the ball in the basket. A lot of people can’t say that. With a lot of teams, if you take away their No. 1 threat, they’ll shut down. We’re not that type of team,” Thomaston said.
And while the Lady Trojan coach saw some things his team needs to address moving forward, the No. 1 thing that stood out to him was effort, which he had no complaints about at night’s end.
“If anybody knows anything about my team, it’s if they’re not playing hard, I’ll have a problem with somebody. I didn’t have a problem with any body [Friday],” Thomaston said.
Oxford boys 57, Carrollton 46: The Trojans (0-1) haven’t had a full week of practice yet with all their guys on board following the football campaign, and it showed in the season-opening setback to the Yellow Jackets (5-1), especially on the offensive end Friday night.
Carrollton never could get in any kind of rhythm, as it trailed from start to finish. Trojan coach Tim Criswell said it will take a bit to get everyone on the same page with only one starter returning this year.
“We were out of sync on offense all night. We’ve got so much inexperience on the court. You know, the only way you can get that kind of experience is to play in those kind of games. It was very obvious that we were out of sync on offense. We’ve got to find out what we can do,” Criswell said. “We’re still not sure who to play. We’ve got a lot of guys we feel like we can get in there, but we’ve got to get some continuity to what we’re doing.”
While the Trojans were ice-cold during the first half, Oxford guard Justin Lawler was anything but, knocking down 4-of-6 attempts from downtown to account for half of his team’s points in the opening 16 minutes, as the Yellow Jackets led 28-17 at halftime.
Carrollton had three times as many turnovers as field goals in the first half — 15 to 5 — but finally showed some life in the third quarter, pulling within 32-28 on a Jarrel Boone bucket. Oxford answered behind a 12-1 run at the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter, though, to stretch its lead to 15 points.
Carrollton knocked down three 3-pointers in the final 1:19, but the Yellow Jackets went 8-of-12 from the charity stripe during that span to seal the win.
Senior forward Riley Criswell led Carrollton with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Javarious Jackson added 10 points and Byron McCall posted eight points, six rebounds and three blocked shots. Lawler led all scorers with 23 points for Oxford, while Ulric Jones scored 16 points with six rebounds for the Jackets.
“They’ve got 10 seniors on that team that have been playing together for three years. That showed, too. I thought watching our guys’ inexperience and there guys’ experience was a big factor in the game,” Tim Criswell said. “But I told my guys, it’s a long season. We’ve just had a few practices together with everybody. You know, we’ll figure it out.”