Shon Thomaston doesn't necessarily always use the scoreboard as the judge, jury and executioner in evaluating his ballclub's performance.
And the Carrollton High School girls' head basketball coach had a pretty good idea that it was going to be one of those instances on Saturday when Woodland of Cartersville came into town for a Region 7-AAAAA contest.
But Thomaston couldn't find too much to fault his squad with during its 60-16 decision over the struggling Lady Wildcats, noting that his girls played hard and with a purpose, especially on the heels of a big region road win at Kell on Friday night.
"You don't want them to take a day off and you want them to play hard. You just try to make sure we play the way we want to play and not the way they want us to play," Thomaston said. "Honestly, we had to play so hard [Friday] night at Kell, it was a really, really tough ballgame, I didn't know how we were going to get ourselves up for this one because this was our second time playing them and the score was very similar this time to the first time. I guess as a player, for somebody who's been programmed to play so hard and to play that way against a really good team, it's got to be hard to maintain that when the scoreboard is the way it is."
Carrollton (15-1, 7-0 Region 7-AAAAA) controlled Saturday's tilt from start to finish against the winless Lady Cats (0-12, 0-7), as the visitors were simply out-matched in all facets of play.
"You know, you feel for those kids inside sometimes. Even though athletically they may not be able to match up with you, at the same time you've still got to work hard and get better," Thomaston said. "Because that next game could be totally different from this one. I'm just glad we came out of this thing with a win and healthy. We'll regroup the next couple of days and get ready for Rome on Tuesday."
Having played in some tough battles in recent weeks, Thomaston said it was nice to be able to clear the bench on Saturday and get all the girls some quality playing time.
"So [Saturday] served that purpose, if nothing else. All things considered, it was a good day for us," Thomaston said.
The Lady Trojans scored the first 13 points of the game and outscored the Lady Wildcats by a 19-2 count in the second quarter to take a commanding 32-6 advantage into the locker room.
It was more of the same in the second half, with Carrollton extending its lead to 45-12 heading into the six-minute fourth quarter.
Ansley Barge led all scorers with 12 points to go along with six steals, while Elexus Bell and Adasha Hendrix finished with nine points apiece, Erial Daniel added eight points and nine rebounds and Kayla Bone scored seven points for Carrollton.
The Lady Trojans have a pair of road games on tap next week with trips to Rome on Tuesday and Paulding County on Friday leading up to Saturday's home rematch against Kell.
"The next week and a half is big for us with Rome, Kell and Villa Rica [on Jan. 24], so the shape of the region is really going to come into play here in the next week and a half," Thomaston said. "We've got some huge games coming up and I just want to make sure my kids are mentally into it and understand what we've got to do to set ourselves up for the region tournament."
Story by Corey Cusick
Reprinted from Times-Georgian