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Bishop Carroll shuts down Andover to reach 5A State

Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 1:26 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The 2019-20 season ended in heartbreak for Bishop Carroll. A comeback win from Andover Central capped by a buzzer beating three pointer sunk the then 21-0 Golden Eagles a win shy of reaching the state tournament. This year, led by a new group of seniors, Bishop Carroll left no doubt to reach the final 8 in Class 5A.

“When we lost that heartbreaker last year, having that 7 point lead with so little to go, I pulled the seniors coming back in the day afterward and we talked about [decisions made,]” said head coach Mike Domnick, “so we’ve had a mission now, since that last game last year, the kids have been just dialed in the whole time. I couldn’t be more proud. These seniors are pretty special.”

One of those seniors, Enrique Lankford, led Carroll with 18--10 of those coming in a first quarter that saw them build an early double digit lead.

“We’ve been trying to get back to state for two years. We’re all just itching to prove that we can do it again; back in freshman year we got it, but we want more,” said Lankford after the 53-34 win over Andover.

Mar 6, 2021; Wichita, Kansas, USA; during a sub-state championship game between Andover and...
Mar 6, 2021; Wichita, Kansas, USA; during a sub-state championship game between Andover and Bishop Carroll ©KellyRoss(©KellyRoss)

That 34 point total was the lowest the Trojans were held to all season long. One of the highest scoring teams in the classification, Andover hadn’t scored fewer than 50 in a game to this point. It was instead a Bishop Carroll team that gave up fewer than 40 per contest over their first 20 games that kept the Trojans 31 points below their season average.

“I had nightmares watching their film,” said Domnick. “Jack [Johnson] and all those players are just phenomenal players. I watched film after film, I’m thinking ‘we’re just going to have to hope that they have an off shooting night.’”

That off shooting night came to fruition, the Trojans making just a single field goal in the second quarter to fall behind 26-15 at the half and never recovering from that big early deficit. The Golden Eagle defense was able to contain Johnson, keeping him to just 6 points, 13 fewer than his season average.

Beyond Lankford’s game best 18, fellow seniors Alex Littlejohn and Carter Reid each scored 9 in the 19 point Bishop Carroll win. Isaiah Maikori scored 9 to pace Andover.

The Golden Eagles (19-2) will now move on to take on Maize (20-2), who earned a big win of their own in ending Valley Center’s season a game shy of State. The Eagles have a half game advantage on Carroll and will therefore host Tuesday’s quarterfinal game.

Due to tournament changes brought on by the pandemic, the game will be occurring earlier than expected. Maize and Carroll would have been the two and three seeds, respectively, in a traditionally seeded season; instead just one will reach the 5A final four.

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