“Night and day” is the only phrase to properly describe the difference between this season and last season for the Carrollton boys basketball team.
Last year the Warriors finished with five wins. But past the midway point of this season, they are 12-2 while riding a 10-game winning streak.
“Well, obviously our boys became men, you know, we had sophomores and juniors become juniors and seniors, you know, so the, the physical part happened,” Carrollton Head Coach Mike Aukerman said about the turnaround.
Carrollton’s latest victory came over Marlington Friday evening on the road by a score of 45-35.
Lincoln Mallarnee led the way for the visiting Warriors with 15 points, Jaxon Rinkes scored 12 and Cadyn Smith poured in 10.
Aukerman believes the players are becoming leaders on the court, and that is leading to success.
“I think our leadership is it has really been there. You know, I think that all those seniors have stepped up in their own and their own individual way,” he said. “Whether it’s Caden vocally doing it, Jaxon doing it with his calmness, Brock’s doing it with his physicality, Micah doing it with his focus. I mean, there’s guys that are that are contributing to it, it’s a team thing, you know.”
Communication is key, and Coach Aukerman credits that for the team’s success.
“I really can’t say Lincoln is shooting better or Jaxon is handling the pressure better,” Aukerman said. “I think it’s just one of those things where we’re communicating really well. I talked to the guys in there, you know, there’s always a constant dialogue between the coaches, between the players, and the communication on the floor is a big deal, too.”
The 10-game winning streak is Carrollton’s longest since 2011. Only seven regular season games remain.
“I’m very proud of the communication and leadership that we have right now,” Aukerman added.
The Warriors will be back in action Tuesday against Steubenville (4-6).