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Prep Basketball Notepad: Controlling the boards gives the Cavaliers new life
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A Jan. 3 loss at Eastern View dropped Caroline’s girls basketball team to 1–3 in Battlefield District play, but since then the Cavaliers have strung together four straight wins and are sitting one game behind Spotsylvania for third place in the district standings.
Caroline starts two freshmen, and its inexperienced lineup went through some growing pains early in the season. The Cavaliers have grown up over the last few weeks. They’ll find out just how much when they take on the Knights tonight on the road.
“I actually just hope they play hard. If they play hard, they’ll win,” Caroline coach Tim Marshall said. “They just have to come with that mindset.
“With our team being so young, you don’t know what you’re going to get from game to game. They’re very inexperienced, but if they come in and play the same way we’ve been playing, we’ll be successful. I have real good confidence in them.”
Rebounding has been one of the biggest keys to the Cavaliers’ turnaround. Marshall said his players are boxing out better and getting more second chances on offense.
One of Caroline’s top rebounders, freshman forward Hope Toliver, has been especially good on the boards. And that’s translated into more production on the offensive end, where she is averaging 16.5 points over the last four games.
She has helped make up for the loss of scorer Bo Hayes, who has been out of action with a deep knee bruise.
“We’re actually waiting on the OK to let [Hayes] go full speed, but right now she’s out,” Marshall said. “We’re not sure when she’ll be able to play. Hopefully, she will be able to come back [today].”
The Cavaliers will need continued strong play from sophomore point guard Jazmine Moore tonight against the Knights, who won 65–58 in the teams’ first meeting back on Dec. 18. Caroline will also need the same rebounding intensity it’s had in recent games and a strong defensive effort against Spotsylvania’s high-scoring tandem of Bria Carter and Kortni Simmons.
“We need to play hard defense. You have to play man-to-man defense against them,” Marshall said. “You can’t give them any breathing room.”
Mountain View 9–0
North Stafford 8–3
Colonial Forge 7–4
Brooke Point 1–9
King George 2–5
Eastern View 1–6
James Monroe 1–7
Colonial Forge 10–0
Mountain View 5–4
Brooke Point 4–7
North Stafford 3–7
Eastern View 7–0
James Monroe 2–5
King George 1–6