Shon Thomaston's squad dominated its way to a blowout victory in its Carrollton Christmas Tournament opener on Thursday — and he feels like it can execute even better.

Taking control from the second quarter on, the Carrollton High School girls' head basketball coach received a smothering effort from his ballclub upon knocking off visiting Martin Luther King with a 70-46 first-round victory.

The final score wasn't indicative of how evenly-matched the first quarter played out with both third-ranked Carrollton (4-2) and MLK trading blows for a majority of the period. The Lady Trojans closed the first on a 5-0 run to take a slim 16-15 advantage into the second.

That's where the home team put its foot on the gas.

Aided by numerous assists from freshman guard De'mauri Flournoy, the Lady Trojans broke out on a 13-4 run to begin the period. From there, the combo of seniors Ansley Barge and Erial Daniel started to inflict their will, both at the basket and on the glass. Carrollton would take a 41-24 lead into the locker room.

The second half brought even more offensive dominance from the likes of starters Taylor Brown and Asha McKinley as CHS opened the third on a 12-0 run. Entering the fourth up 56-33, the Lady Trojans continued to cruise for the 24-point victory.

Even with the big win, Thomaston thought his players could've came out the gate much quicker than they did.

"We've been starting off slow for the past several ballgames," Thomaston said. "I think my players have mentally programmed themselves to just know that a run is going to come at some point in time. We have to break that cycle because it's not guaranteed to come, so we have to play well from the beginning."

Brown led for the Lady Trojans with 18 points on the evening, while Daniel offered a double-double effort with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

"I though my kids played really, really hard and I'll take the effort. The execution, from an offensive and defensive standpoint, hasn't quite been what I want it to be. But from a coach's standpoint, I can say that we're not peaking yet, which is good," Thomaston said. "The girls kept battling and beat an athletic MLK team to get the 'W' and we'll always take that."

Carrollton will return to Criswell Court this evening at 6 to face a Locust Grove ballclub that the head coach knows could present it with a variety of problems.

"They have some kids that are being recognized by next level coaches, so we have to be on top of our game from an execution standpoint," Thomaston said.

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