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The Carroll Times

The Carroll Times

Pats drop third straight Catholic League game, tempering expectations

Michael Livingston
Carroll dropped its third PCL game in a row to St. Joe’s Prep on Monday night.

It’s fair to say that the hype has died down surrounding the Archbishop Carroll varsity boys basketball team.

Following the team’s 84-63 loss to St. Joseph’s Prep on Monday night, the Pats are now riding a five-game losing streak and have begun the Catholic League season with a 0-3 mark. 

The struggles on the court have been plain to see. With a lack of rebounding on both ends and a severe lack of defense, Carroll has found themselves in a tough spot just as they get into the heart of the PCL schedule. 

The Pats’ age and inexperience have also played a big factor in the early season slumps. Carroll is one of the very few teams without an active junior or senior on the varsity roster. The Pats are young and began the year hot with a ton of pressure and expectations on their backs, something that has proven difficult to match to this point in the year.  

“We’re starting two freshmen and we’re playing three sophomores that didn’t have any experience as freshmen last year,” said Patriot’s head coach Francis Bowe. “So we are essentially playing with five out of our seven kids who have never played in this spot before. Game in and game out, going against seniors and juniors and then the schedule doesn’t do us any favors – we’re playing three of the top five teams in the city of Philadelphia.”

The schedule has indeed done Carroll no favors as of late, beginning the season against three of the league’s best in Neumann-Goretti, Archbishop Ryan, and now St. Joe’s Prep. The Pats have struggled to get a footing but for rightful reasons. 

“I feel like we can still contend,” said sophomore forward Ian Williams. “It might not look like it right now but it’s the top ten teams that make it to the PCL playoffs and we think we’re in there.”

One thing Carroll has not struggled with is getting out to quick starts and that’s something they did again tonight, carrying a lead at times through the 1st quarter and even into the second quarter as they went neck and neck with the Hawks before Saint Joe’s began to pull away. 

Something that has become another trend is the figurative and physical shutdown on defense by the Pats toward the middle of games. In their last three games, the Pats have seen multiple early leads slip away into 10, 15, and 20-point deficits by halftime, which is what happened once again Monday as Carroll fell into a 16-point hole at halftime.

The struggles would continue into the second half as the Pats grappled with pulling down rebounds on both ends of the floor while Prep seemingly could not miss from the floor. Despite a nice little run from the Pats that was fueled by a few forced turnovers by Ian Williams and some big buckets on the other end, the Prep would quickly neutralize the threat with yet another barrage of three-pointers, leaving Carroll without answers once again.

“It’s really just our effort,” said sophomore forward Luca Foster. “You know, St. Joe’s Prep was hitting their shots and there were a lot of times we weren’t getting our hands up or getting back on defense.”

As the fourth quarter progressed, it became clear there wouldn’t be any big-time comebacks. The Pats floundered through the period and fell flat as the game came to a close. 

Nonetheless, after their torrid stretch to begin the season, the Patriots will look ahead to the meat of the Catholic League schedule, where they will attempt to regain their mojo by taking down a few of their lesser opponents. 

That chance will begin 6 p.m. Friday in Carroll’s East Gym as they look to take down the Explorers of La Salle College High School. 

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