Golden Eagle Week-in-Review #5: Young Stars continue to emerge and be vital to the success of the Golden Eagles


Grace Mernagh

Coach Domnick pacing up and down the court during the teams matchup against Andover Central earlier in the season

Adrian Holguin , Sports Editor

Golden Eagle Week-in-Review

So Far:

Coach Domnick’s Golden Eagles (Ranked 2nd in 5A according to MaxPreps) were able to come up with two more huge wins this week as this dominant crop of Golden Eagles continue to fly up the ranks of excellence. The Golden Eagles are 16-0, with the team busting out dominant performances seemingly left and right. When asked what the biggest factor to their success thus far was, Carroll star forward Enrique Lankford exclaimed, “I think our offensive ball movement is unmatched. The way we constantly move without the ball combined with the scorers we have is incredible.” I don’t know how you can begin to describe the teams ball movement without first praising not only Coach Domnick, but also his top-notch group of assistant coaches, headed by Coach Lee, that consistently teach their student-athletes the fundamentals and key principles of the game. When asked about how the Carroll coaches have affected their team and what makes them great coaches, key role player Preston Rottinghaus stated, “Well coach Dom is just a real fun loving guy. He coached us with a real passion for the game and you can tell that just by watching. Him and Coach Lee really are like Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. They just go together extremely well.” Carroll junior forward Enrique Lankford is continuing his consistent reign of dominance, while dropping a total of 32 points in the team’s previous two games. When asked about what part of his game he uses the most to ensure his on-court success, Enrique stated, “The element of my game I use the most is my confidence. Without confidence, I wouldn’t make any of the shots I shoot or plays I make.” The forward also expressed that the part of his game that he takes the most pride in is his scoring ability: “I think the part of my game I take the most pride in would have to be my scoring ability. Living in the gym working on my moves and shots over and over again has helped develop this part of my game.” One of the biggest story lines at this point in the season is the health of Carroll star guard Tanner Mans as he continues his recovery from a concussion that he suffered at the hands of the Lawrence Free State Firebirds during the last round of the annual McPherson tournament. While describing the health of his close friend, fellow Carroll senior guard Brenyn St. Vrain exclaimed, “He’s just now getting back to practice and working to get back into basketball shape. He will for sure be 100 percent come the postseason.”


VS. Southeast: Win, 57-42

The Golden Eagles were able to come up with yet another big victory against the Southeast Golden Buffaloes (Ranked 16th in 6A via MaxPreps). But the team seemed to struggle a bit defensively defending the junior duo made up of Rone Smith and  Jackie Johnson, who were both able to put up double digit scoring nights which is a rarity while going up against the always stout Golden Eagle Defense. The talent of this duo caused Coach Domnick to temporarily change his game plan to counter them, St. Vrain stated, “We have usually played man-to-man defense all year but we decided to switch it up to a zone against them and that definitely kept their scoring lower than it could have been.” The Golden Eagles were able to put together their 14th 50-plus point scoring night, led by their Junior Trio, who collectively had a huge week with all three having big games in both of the matchups that took place over the past week. Guard Carter Reid was able to put up a total of 10 points while going 50 percent from the field. Forward Alex Littlejohn was the team’s leading scorer while going for a total of 18 points off of 9 total shots, he was also the team’s second leading rebounder with 7 on the night, just behind senior Luke Larkin who was able to pull down 8. Up and coming Forward Enrique Lankford finished the night with 10 total points. 

@ East Blue Aces: Win, 64-49

The Golden Eagles were able to put up a total of 64 points on the Aces with the team’s leading scorer being forward Enrique Lankford who was able to put the ball in the basket a total of 8 times, resulting in him ending the day with a total of 22 points. The other two members of the big three also scored in the double digits. Junior Guard Carter Reid was able to finish with 15 total points and Forward Littlejohn was able to come up with 14 points from down in the paint. He was also able to lead the team in rebounds with 15 total on the night.

Looking Forward:

The Golden Eagles will look to continue to see Tanner Mans continue his road to being 100 percent as they approach the Playoffs. Coach Dom has to be extremely happy with the performance from the Junior Trio, especially as they continue to gain experience with the other members of this team, As Carter stated earlier in the year, “We have an opportunity to be the best team that has ever went through Carroll and finally put that City League title on the board, as well as another state one.”

Statements from the Golden Eagles:

Carter Reid on how the team is able to stay extremely close throughout the season:

                “We just have fun together. We all are on the same page and know any of us can step up and do what we have to do to win. Big part of it too is that it’s not all serious, we have fun, the coaches do, and we all do together.”

Enrique Lankford on the biggest contributing factor to the teams continued success every time they step onto the court:

                “We may not always have a great offensive night but we always have the same defensive mindset. We almost never allow teams to outwork us defensively which is a huge part of our perfect record.”

Brenyn St. Vrain on what aspect of his game he feels is most vital to the teams continued success of the team:

            “I think my defense is most vital, I always try to do whatever I can to get a steal or deflection and also my 3-point shooting is important.”

Carter Reid on what his favorite part of the season has been thus far:

            “Definitely the Kapaun game, most people I’ve ever seen the AC. Probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, crowd we have ever had.”