Trojans’ season ends with loss to Carney
Forest Park’s Gabe Scarlassara pressures a Carney-Nadeau ballhandler while teammate Keall Emmers (2) looks on during the Trojans’ 59-37 defeat in the first round of district play on March 9. Forest Park finished the season at 8-13.
CARNEY—Into the second quarter of their District 99 opener against Carney-Nadeau, the Forest Park Trojans were hanging with the favored Wolves, down just six. But by halftime, the Trojans were down 15 and never recovered as Carney-Nadeau ended FP’s season with a 59-37 defeat on March 9 in Carney.
First-year FP coach Kurt Lehmann said part of the issue during that key stretch in the first half when C-N took control was a season-long struggle to execute offensively.
“We had a couple of turnovers in a row that they transitioned and got a couple of easy buckets,” Lehmann said. “And our offense kind of stalled with the same thing as all year, with just turnovers and not getting good offensive possessions and then not getting those key stops.”
And a few turnovers can quickly turn into a big deficit against a team like the Wolves (15-7), who employ a fast-paced, pressure-defense and 3-point attack. Skyline Conference player of the year, senior Brett LaFord, led the way with 26 points, including three triples. C-N finished with six 3-pointers, while the Trojans (8-13) sank only one.
Tommy Showers topped Forest Park with 17 points, but C-N shut down the Trojans’ leader scorer, Keall Emmers, holding the 14-points-per-game scorer to just one point.
“He was struggling with his shot ... and they did a good job defensively on him and he wasn’t able to score,” Lehmann said.
After taking a 30-15 lead into the halftime break, C-N kept slowly extending its lead, finishing the third quarter up 43-25 before winning by 22.
Lehmann said he and his team had hopes for a better performance after playing well in their regular-season finale, a 49-46 overtime loss to North Central.
“I think they were disappointed,” Lehmann said. “I think we expected to at least play better. I thought we really had a good chance, especially with how we played against North Central. Even though we lost that game, it did build a little confidence, saying ‘We can play with anybody.’ And I thought that boosted us a little bit.”