CARTERVILLE — The Carterville girls basketball team dominated the second and third quarters on its way to a 61-46 win over Carbondale Tuesday.
The Lions outscored the Terriers 42-17 during the middle quarters.
Carbondale’s Brianna Simelton converted a three-point play to slice Carterville’s lead to just 19-16 at the 5:38 mark of the second quarter. It was all Lions after that.
Megan Barton drained two foul shots to start a 12-2 run, and Abbey Crain made a runner to finish it. That gave the Lions (2-2) a 31-18 advantage late in the second period.
“I was really pleased with that stretch, and I was pleased with our effort all the way around,” said Carterville coach Matt Crain. “We’re still young, and our guards are young, and we’ve got a lot of new people playing. We were sharp and crisp and made a lot of things happen.”
The Lions really poured it on in the third quarter. Jeniah Thompson and Crain each made baskets to start a 10-0 run to end the quarter. Reese Herrin sank two free throws, and Carterville led by 28 points after three quarters of play.
“A lot of it was rust, and you look out there, and we’ve basically got four kids that haven’t played much,” said Carbondale coach Marialice Jenkins. “I told them it’s a process, and we now know what game speed feels like. Things in practice should start making more sense to us now, and we’ve just got to be better handling the basketball. I felt like we slung the ball all over the place and gave people passes in horrible positions.”
Thompson, who scored 15 points for Carterville, wasn’t much of a factor early in the game. But once she turned it on, the Lions received a spark.
“She’s tough,” Crain said of Thompson. “She’s just a stat stuffer. Her handprint is going to be all over the game. She just does a little bit of everything very well.”
Lexi Swalls hit a jump shot to give Carterville a 13-10 edge after one quarter. Faith Halliday buried a 3-pointer for Carbondale, which tied the game 13-all early in the second quarter.
But it was downhill from there for the Terriers. Carbondale (0-1) played a good fourth quarter, but was already down by nearly 30 points at that juncture.
“They had already played three games, and a couple of those teams, Highland and T-Town, are state quality teams,” Jenkins said. “But I was happy with a couple of our freshmen that jumped in there. They didn’t look scared and looked like they were ready to play. We’ve got to get some more production out of our inside game.”
Crain paced Carterville with 16 points, Barton added 10, and Montana Taylor had nine. Simelton led Carbondale with 15 points, and Atlexus Green tallied 11.