The Archbishop Carroll girls' basketball team is well aware of how young it is. After all, having three sophomores in the starting lineup is hard to ignore.
But instead of viewing their inexperience as a negative, the Patriots are looking to turn it around.
That was the message from their coaching staff Saturday afternoon, after the Patriots lost their season-opening game to Christ the King (N.Y.), 54-39.
"I didn't expect it to be as frustrating," Sarah Curran said of the opener in the Blue Chip Tip-Off Classic at Carroll. "It wasn't good that it went that way, but it really showed us what we need to work on."
She added that she and fellow senior Kristie Costantino "realize what we need to do on the court and how we need to take that leadership role, which we may not have done that well today."
Sierra Calhoun, who can play as a forward or guard, scored a game-high 24 points for the Royals (1-1), using her athleticism to get the ball down the court and to the basket quickly. That showed why she is one of the top recruits in the country as only a junior.
After scoring only one basket in the first half, Curran scored 11 points in the second, as the senior forward found her shot and made more confident moves to the hoop.
"I was fidgety and wasn't relaxed," Curran said of the first half, before adding that the Patriots took a collective "deep breath" before the third quarter started.
The first half was rife with turnovers and mistakes for the Patriots, as they scored only 16 points in the first 16 minutes of play. Carroll lacked an offensive rhythm and let the Royals' physical man defense get to them.
"It's our first game, we are young, and we just have to learn," Patriots coach Chuck Creighton said.
"It is about keeping composure, taking care of the ball, and running our sets," he added.
In the second half, however, the Patriots looked much stronger, outscoring Christ the King, 23-20.
Christ the King 18 16 10 10 – 54
Archbishop Carroll 7 9 13 10 – 39
CTK: Sierra Calhoun 24, Kollyns Scarbrough 12, Taylor Butigian 6, Destiny Marino 5, Shannon Barrett 5, Kristen Drogsler 2.
AC: Sarah Curran 13, Lexi Stover 9, Kristie Costantino 6, Julia Gantz 5, Ann McKnight 4, Cara Santoleri 2.