Invite update: Carroll pulls upsets 6A's No. 1 team

By Steve Sell
January 19, 2018
Kendall Shaw

First, Bishop Carroll — according to the so-called experts — wasn’t supposed to defeat Derby in the first round of the McPherson Invitational on Thursday.

But it did.

Surely, the Golden Eagles couldn’t knock off Class 6A’s No. 1-ranked team Lawrence Free State in the semifinals.

But Carroll, the No. 6 seed, has played the no-respect card into a berth in Saturday’s finals with a shocking 59-53 upset of the Firebirds.

Carroll will play the McPherson-Shawnee Mission East winner in Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship game. The Firebirds play the third-place game at 5:15.

The Eagles were cerebral assassins, picking apart the Firebird defense by slicing and dicing the interior for layup after layup. 

Carroll jumped on Free State in the second quarter, going from a 16-13 deficit to a 27-23 lead. The Golden Eagles were efficient as they had assists on 7 of their 11 baskets and frustrated Free State into a 9 of 21 effort from the field in the first half. Had it not been for Garrett Luinstra’s 11 points, the Firebirds would have been down much more.

Free State would never catch up.

It was 42-37 Golden Eagles after three quarters, then Carsen Pracht took over in the final period with 11 of his team-high 20 points. Tanner Mans added 18, 9 in each half.

Luinstra led Free State with 16. But the Firebirds were just 21 of 50 from the field and despite being the more physical team, lost the rebounding battle 31-29. They also were just 4 of 12 from the line.

Carroll (59) — Pracht 8-14, 2-3, 20; Lynch 2-5, 0-0, 4; Mans 7-15, 2-3, 18; Lee 0-5, 0-0, 0; Evans 1-5, 2-2, 4; St. Vrain 0-2, 2-4, 2; Larkin 2-3, 0-0, 4; Littlejohn 3-4, 1-2, 7. Totals — 23-53, 9-14, 59. 3-pointers — Pracht 2, Mans 2.

Free State (53) — Luinstra 6-15, 0-0, 16; McCaffrey 2-4, 0-0, 6; Butler 2-9, 0-2, 4; McDermott 2-7, 0-0, 5; Robinson 3-4, 2-8, 8; Hicks 2-2, 0-0, 4; Edwards 0-1, 0-0, 0; White-Downing 3-5, 2-2, 8; King 1-3, 0-0, 2. Totals — 21-50, 4-12, 53. 3-pointers — Luinstra 4, McCaffrey 2, McDermott 1.


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