HADDONFIELD-- When Paul VI went down 11-0 in the first quarter, the experienced players in white jerseys knew exactly how to react.
Carly Stroemel and the other experienced players kept the Eagles calm and kept fighting in their 66-47 loss to Caravel Academy from Delaware in the Carol Stutzer-Harris tournament on ther home court.
“It goes a long way because it’s an extension of us as coaches on the court,” Paul VI head coach Lisa Steele said. “Carly conveying that same message, and it’s not just talk with her, it’s doing. She’s not panicking. She understands what we try to preach as well.”
The Eagles had trouble with Caravel’s pressing defense in the first quarter, but they made adjustments and forced turnovers of their own with their own pressure.
Although the score may have indicated otherwise, the Eagles were never out of the game until the fourth quarter.
“They make their runs, we make our runs,” Steele said. “Then I focus on the technical piece. Why are we down 11 and I coach solely on the technical piece on how we can get those points back and have them focus on that and not the score.”
Paul VI packed a punch in the second half, as it drove into the lane and earned plenty of trips to the free-throw line.
Guards Abby Babore and Sara McShea combined for 22 of Paul VI’s 33 second-half points, and it’s that effort that will be one of the main takeaways from the defeat.
“We got good leadership mixed with a lot of youth,” Steele said. “A lot of times, basketball is a game of runs so I really liked the fact that when they made the runs, our leadership was able to bring everyone together and get us to start making our runs as well.”
Although the result wasn’t what they wanted on Thursday, the Eagles showed plenty of fight and picked up some valuable experience that will be priceless when the business end of the season rolls around.
“We play to win in March,” Steele said. “You play a season to win in March. Obviously you want to win every game because we’re competitors. But you want to win in March and you take the lessons from these games as long as you can get better a few percent every day you’ll be on the right track."