BOUNCE: Carroll topples Homestead’s SAC dynasty with double overtime win

The game marked Homestead's first regular season loss in the SAC....ever.

Carroll’s Taylor Fordyce looks for a pass around the Homestead defense during a December 4 game.

Way back in 2015, the Summit Athletic Conference welcomed Carroll and Homestead into the league, bumping the field back up to 10 teams.

It was an exciting time for all.

Until girls’ basketball season started.

Beginning in 2015 and rolling up to Friday night, the Homestead Spartans ruled the SAC. No one could beat them in the regular season. Carroll? Miss after miss. South Side? Nope. Snider? Zip.

Five-plus years. 46-0 in regular-season games in the SAC.

The streaked ended on Friday.

Bounce was in attendance at the Carroll Fieldhouse on Friday to watch the Chargers hand Homestead its first defeat in conference play since the days of the old Northeast Hoosier Conference.

In Bounce’s mind, the 62-58 double-OT final does not necessarily signify a changing of the guard in the SAC, but rather a return to the days of intrigue in the conference.

At least for now, the SAC on the girls’ side is not explained away by saying, “Homestead and then everybody else.’

Caroll coach Mark Redding knows the struggle. The Chargers entered Friday with 14 consecutive defeats to Homestead.

When Bounce said to Redding in post-game how this win was a long-time coming, this frog did not have to wait long for an answer.

“You think?” Redding said. “This doesn’t mean that much to me, but it means a lot to those girls in (the locker room). They know how good Homestead has been and how tough you have to play to beat them.”

Homestead’s Ayanna Patterson controls the ball during a December 4 game against Carroll.

Carroll (6-2) led by 10 at the break and looked poised to roll Homestead in the second half, but Spartans coach Rod Parker made adjustments and fed the ball to star Ayanna Patterson time after time after time. Her 15 points in the third quarter brought the Spartans back from the brink.

The game ended up tied at the end of regulation, with Carroll missing a last-second shot for the victory. Homestead (4-2) was able to build a lead to as many as five in the first overtime, but was not able to put the Chargers away. An Emily Parrett three-pointer with four seconds left in the extra session sent the game into a second overtime.

That is where Carroll went to work, pulling away, hitting key free throws and getting defensive stops and turnovers to seal the win.

Parrett led the Chargers with 19 points while Taylor Fordyce added 12.

Patterson was a one-woman wrecking crew for the Spartans and finished with 32 points, but she did not get enough support offensively. Ali Stephens scored eight points and Molly Stock seven, but Homestead did not have a consistent outside shooting threat to open up the Carroll defense.

Over the years, Carroll has had Homestead in bad spots a few times during the long losing streak, but every time the Spartans were able to recover and bury the Chargers in the end.

What was different about Friday?

“Our girls never gave up, they persevered and played so hard on the defensive end,” Redding said. “That is what is different about this team. They were determined and they didn’t stop playing hard.”

Redding said following the game that Friday’s victory doesn’t mean a thing if his squad doesn’t come out ready to play going forward. But with all due respect, Bounce just thinks a coach that has won 315 career games and a state title with Elmhurst in 2009 is wrong in this respect.

What Carroll accomplished against the Spartans was big. It brought unpredictability back to the conference race in the SAC, something that has been lacking for the better part of six years.

And in terms of interest level, that makes Bounce very, very happy.

Carroll’s Emily Parrett bodies to the rum by Homestead’s Maggie Keinsley during a December 4 game.

These opinions represent those of Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH

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