If it wasn’t a great performance — and it wasn’t — at least Carlisle High School’s girls basketball team had enough positives to consider Friday a good day.
The Indians surpassed their 2012-13 win total and earned a return trip to the Bradford Holiday Tournament championship game by fighting off Springfield 38-29.
“We’re still growing, we’re still learning,” said Carlisle coach Randy Glover, whose 8-2 squad was just 7-16 last season. “We’ve only got three seniors on the roster, so obviously we’re showing signs of improvement.”
Kelsey Minton scored 16 points and Ashley Baker added 10 for the Indians, who pulled away from a 17-17 deadlock by outpointing the Wildcats 13-2 in the third stanza.
Carlisle will play host Bradford for the title today at 7 p.m. The Railroaders beat the Indians 42-34 in last year’s final.
“It’s a really big deal to win a trophy and bring it back home, so that’s our goal,” said Minton, a sophomore guard. “We’ll have to work better as a team, slow down and play smart basketball.”
Kaitlin Taylor had seven of Carlisle’s 18 steals against Springfield (0-8). Cali Whaley collected five and Makenzie Cotton chipped in four.
The Wildcats committed 28 turnovers, 11 in the third quarter.
“We were able to come out at halftime and pressure a little bit in our 1-3-1, and that created some problems for them,” Glover said. “We made some foolish mistakes toward the end. We don’t know exactly how to handle those last two minutes yet.”
The Indians had been idle for more than a week, and Minton said the break affected CHS.
“Practice was a little bit on the slow side because we had too many Christmas cookies,” she said. “We were all just kind of hectic when we got the ball today. We rushed too much when we needed to slow down and set up our stuff.”
Kanesha McDavid scored nine points and Brianna Napper grabbed 12 rebounds for the Wildcats, who will play DeGraff Riverside in today’s 4 p.m. consolation contest. Riverside lost to Bradford 56-34 in Friday’s nightcap.
“We’ve just got to roll with what we’ve got and work to get better every day,” first-year Springfield coach Matt Johnson said. “I think what you saw today was just us being young.
“We have no seniors. They’re still very coachable, they’re willing to put the work in. It’s just tough to string some things together.”
Cotton and Baker snagged eight boards apiece for Carlisle. The Indians had no 3-pointers and sank 12 of 27 foul shots.