Not up their ‘Alli:’ Carroll hands Caston 2nd straight loss
Zimpleman leads Caston with 12, Scales adds 10
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
FLORA — Alli Harness and Madison Wagner might be 1,000-point scorers for the Carroll (Flora) girls basketball team, but it was another player who troubled visiting Caston with her scoring and rebounding Tuesday.
Harness scored 23 points, and Jamilah Tillman scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Class 2A, co-No. 8 Lady Cougars handed Class 1A, No. 3 Caston their second straight loss 53-44 Tuesday.
Addison Zimpleman led Caston with 12 points, Isabel Scales had 10, Bailey Harness had nine, and Kinzie Mollenkopf had eight.
Carroll, who lost by 32 points to Caston last year when Alli Harness missed the game due to two broken wrists, improved to 19-3. Caston dropped to 19-2.
Carroll went on a 9-1 run in the first quarter to take a 15-11 lead, and they never trailed after that. They led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter.
One game after committing 23 turnovers in a loss to North Miami, Caston committed 14 turnovers as compared to Carroll’s 11.
Caston also made just 4 of 9 free throws while Carroll sunk 11 of 12.
Carroll alternated between a man-to-man, a 2-3 zone, a triangle-in-two and perhaps most effectively, a box-in-one with Madison Wagner on Scales and the other players in a zone.
“They switched it up,” Caston coach Josh Douglass said. “I thought our girls did a good job of attacking it at different times. We drew a play up there at the end. They executed it beautifully when we got that back door look. We knew the back cuts would be there. We just didn’t hit enough shots when we needed to, and of course, when you’ve got Harness hitting some of those like she hit tonight, there’s not much you can do about it.”
Alli Harness, a junior and Division I prospect who scored her 1,000th point as a sophomore, had a driving layup, a transition bucket off a Wagner assist and a 3-pointer during the run, and Reagan Gleason had a steal and breakaway layup during the first quarter run as a four-point Caston lead turned into a four-point Carroll lead.
Wagner was held to six points. Only once this season has she scored fewer points in a game.
Down the stretch, however, it was Tillman, a 5-10 junior power forward, who took over.
After Caston got within 39-34 on two Bailey Harness free throws with 2:12 left in the third quarter, Tillman put back her own miss to get the lead to seven.
Carroll carried a 43-36 lead after three quarters, and Tillman scored six of her team’s 10 points in the fourth, including a difficult scoop layup off an Alli Harness feed and four straight free throws.
“The difference was the Tillman girl tonight, number 11,” Douglass said. “She averages five on the year, and we gave up 17 to her tonight, and it was all in the offensive rebounding in my opinion. And that’s something we’ve done a good job with.”
Carroll coach Brady Wiles said that his team was strictly a man-to-man team earlier in the season but has been working on a zone to try to get ready for sectionals. He thought the zone fit Caston’s attack pretty well and called Scales a “heck of a player” and “one of the best players in the area.”
He was asked if this was the best game of Tillman’s career.
“Yeah, probably, the biggest game of her career,” Wiles said. “She had a stretch like this in sectionals. … For her, she can do this every game. So it’s just about being focused. … We did tell her before the game if she wins the their Harness versus our Tillman matchup, I thought we had a good chance, and she did that.”
Given that Carroll is a Class 2A opponent and that few Class 1A teams have the accumulation of talent that Carroll has, Douglass said his team should benefit from the loss.
“The teams we have left in our tournament can’t do what Carroll just did to us and match up to us,” Douglass said. “So that was really good tonight. I’m glad Carroll did that because now I have Kinzie very confident. … Macee (Hinderlider) drove to the basket a couple times. Addison had to work for her shots. So tonight, Carroll made us better.”
Caston junior Annie Harsh dressed but missed her second straight game due to a right ankle injury. Douglass said the goal is to have Harsh ready for sectional play. Caston’s first postseason game is scheduled for Feb. 3 at Tri-County.
Carroll won the two-quarter JV game 10-5. Kaitie Hutsell scored two points, and Camila Hernandez-Rios, Kylee Logan and Myli Rude had one point each.
The JV game against Bremen Thursday will also be two quarters and start at 6 p.m. at Caston.
Carroll (Flora) 53, Caston 44
CASTON (44) (19-2)
Macee Hinderlider 2 0-0 5, Isabel Scales 4 0-1 10, Addison Zimpleman 5 1-2 12, Kinzie Mollenkopf 4 0-0 8, Bailey Harness 3 3-6 9, Olivia Thomas 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 18 4-9 44
CARROLL (FLORA) (53) (19-3)
Jillian Salts 1 0-0 3, Alli Harness 9 3-3 23, Reagan Gleason 2 0-0 4, Madison Wagner 2 1-1 6, Jamilah Tillman 5 7-8 17, Emily Justice 0 0-0 0, Daizee Myers 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 19 11-12 53
Three-point field goals:
Caston 4 (Scales 2, Zimpleman, Hinderlider),
Carroll (Flora) 4 (A. Harness 2, Wagner, Salts)
Total fouls: Caston 12, Carroll (Flora) 11
Turnovers: Caston 14, Carroll (Flora) 11
Score by quarters
Caston 13 11 12 8 – 44
Carroll 15 16 12 10 – 53
JV: Carroll (Flora) 10, Caston 5