WINTERSVILLE - The Carrollton girls' basketball team emerged from the locker room a different team.
The Warriors were limited to just 13 points in the first half as Indian Creek took a 14-13 lead into halftime.
The Warriors erupted for 21 third-quarter points against the Redskins and Carrollton pulled away in the fourth quarter en route to a 45-27 victory Monday night at Indian Creek in the Redskins' season opener.
"We started playing basketball," Carrollton (1-1) head coach Craig Rodgers said about what made the difference for his team in the third quarter and in the second half. "We were robotic at times. We just run to spots. We didn't look to the score.
"We played much better in the second half. We used our shot fakes and our jab steps. We made them come out and play defense. That opened up the lane for us to drive. We got some open shots, and we started to hit them.
"We had a couple of good looks in the first half, and they didn't fall."
Carrollton outscored Indian Creek 32-13 in the second half.
"Carrollton has a nice team," Indian Creek (0-1) head coach Erin DeSantis said. "They had a game under their belts, which helps. We are spread too thin. We tried to do too much. We need to do the simple things. We need to do the little things.
"We shot ourselves in the foot a lot tonight. We would break their press, and then we would throw the ball away, or we would make the pass too late.
"I'm sure there were some first-game jitters.
"Coming in, we knew Carrollton was a good opponent. You have to start somewhere. You need to know where you are going. You need to know what you need to work on and what you need to build on.
"Hopefully, this is something we can learn from and build from. You either sink or swim.
"We didn't control what we could control. We control our destiny, but we let them control what we did."
The Warriors were balanced offensively as seven players scored, though no one reached double digits.
Rachel Devine netted a game-high nine points to lead the way.
Bre Berryman and Kiarra Kamarec each contributed on the inside for Indian Creek as the dynamic duo each scored in double figures. Berryman recorded a game-high 12 points, while Kamarec collected 10 points.
Both teams struggled on the offensive end in the first half. The biggest lead of the first half was just four points.
Two free throws by Kelsey Voll gave the Warriors a 7-6 lead in the first quarter, but the Redskins took an 8-7 lead on a basket by Kamarec. The bucket was the final one of the quarter.
In the second quarter, Kamarec contributed a shot from the baseline to put the Redskins out in front, 13-9. The Redskins led by one point at halftime.
"They run hard off screens," DeSantis said. "I was pleased with our defense.
"We need to be more patient on offense. We need to settle down on offense. If we can get our offense to match our defense we will be OK.
"You don't want to get discouraged. You want to continue to build. We know what we need to work on."
The visitors from Carroll County came out strong to start the second half as they outscored the girls from Jefferson County, 11-2, in less than three minutes to take a 24-16 lead on a 3-pointer by Voll with 5:11 left to play in the third quarter.
The Warriors ended the third quarter just as strong as they started - on a 10-2 run to take a 34-21 lead into the fourth quarter.
"We didn't expect them to press," Rodgers said. "We expected them to fall back into a half-court defense. They didn't press us last year.
"Berryman is a presence inside. She blocked about five of our shots in the first half. In the second half, we made her come out from underneath the basket. We made her step away from the basket and guard us. That helped us drive."
A basket by Kamarec pulled the hosts within 36-25 in the fourth quarter, but the victors ended the game on a 9-2 spurt to pull away.
"We picked up our defense in the second half," Rodgers said. "We held them to 13 points in the second half.
"We were trying to double Berryman. At 6-5, she is a presence underneath. We tried to take her out from under the basket. In the second half, we were able to do that, and we played solid defense on everybody else."
Both teams are scheduled to return to the hardwood Wednesday at home. Carrollton is scheduled to play Claymont, while Indian Creek is slated to face off against Minerva.
"We play two tough opponents to open the season," DeSantis said.
Creek's Cassidy Ruckman was injured with 2:53 remaining to be played in the third quarter with the Redskins trailing 26-21. After being down on the court for a few minutes, Ruckman was helped off the floor. She did not return to the game.
Carrollton opened the season with a loss Saturday at home against New Philadelphia.
Carrollton 45, Indian Creek 27
Carrollton 7 6 21 13 - 45
Indian Creek 8 6 7 6 - 27
CARROLLTON (1-1): Fenamore 1 1-2 3, Davis 1 0-0 2, Devine 4 0-0 9, Voll 2 2-2 8, DeGarmo 1 0-0 2, Starre 3 0-0 6, Poole 4 0-0 8, Savana Lowery 2 2-2 7.Totals: 18 5-6 45. 3-pointers: Voll 2, Devine, Lowery.
INDIAN CREEK (0-1): Schmitt 0 0-0 0, Taylor 0 0-0 0, Mains 1 1-1 3, Shimko 0 0-0 0, Ruckman 1 0-0 2, Kamarec 4 2-2 10, Berryman 5 2-4 12, Smith 0 0-0 0, Callahan 0 0-0 0.Totals: 11 5-7 27.