Akron St. Vincent/St. Mary had the height advantage with four players 6-foot and taller, but Carroll executed the fundamentals and demonstrated heart. The result was a 57-38 Patriots’ victory in the Division II state semifinals at the Schottenstein Center on Thursday.
Carroll’s win was complete. The Patriots connected on 18 of 38 (47.4 percent) field goal attempts, including 7 of 15 (46.7) from the arc. They also sank 14 of 19 (73.7) free throws. They also won the rebounding battle, 32-24, even with only one 6-footer on the roster.
Now 27-2, Carroll will face Toledo Rogers for a Division II state title Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
It was an impressive stat line for Carroll’s 5-foot-5 freshman Sarah Ochs. She was 4-for-4 from the filed and 4-for-4 from the free throw line for a team-high 14 points. Julia Keller, the lone 6-footer for the Patriots, scored 12 and snared five rebounds as did 5-foot-6 junior Allie Stefanik.
Carroll held a narrow 12-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 26-20 edge at halftime. A three-pointer from Keller and three free throws by sophomore Ava Lickliter lifted the advantage to 32-20 with 6:22 left in the third quarter.
The Irish sliced the deficit to 34-28 with an 8-2 run, but Carroll answered with an 11-0 spurt to claim a 45-28 cushion with 1:33 remaining in the third quarter.