Carson's High's offense was off and on Friday afternoon, but the one constant was its defense.
The Senators forced a whopping 38 turnovers which led to 22 points in an easy 52-26 victory over the Hug Hawks in a Division IA girls crossover basketball game at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
Carson improved to 3-1 in league play entering today's game (11:45 a.m.) at Bishop Manogue.
In addition to forcing a plethora of turnovers, Carson's defensive pressure held Hug to 25 percent from the floor.
"It (defense) has been an emphasis ever since we got home (from the West Coast Jamboree)," Carson coach Nathan Tolbert said. "We're trying to work our way up from being a middle-school defensive team.
"Our defense was terrible during the tournament. We didn't rotate, we didn't help out. It was pretty ugly most of the time. We didn't force anything today, and even when they got on a run I don't think we were feeling it."
Hug's biggest run of points came in the third quarter when it scored five straight. That showed just how dominant CHS was at the defensive end.
"We played today like we should," said guard Savannah Smith, who led all scorers with 23 points. "We've been working on moving our feet instead of just reaching."
Both Tolbert and Smith agree on why the offense isn't clicking. Carson shot just 31 percent, and that was only because the Senators shot nearly 50 percent in the second half.
"We're just not moving," Smith said. "Everybody is standing around and not cutting. We need to move a lot more and do what we need to do."
"We're not running our stuff," Tolbert said. "We're freewheeling too much."
About the only person not ragged on offense was Smith, who hit from outside and inside. Hug was at a decided disadvantage no matter who they put on Smith.
Whenever Carson went on a scoring run during the lopsided contest, and there were many, Smith was right in the middle of things.
Smith scored seven of Carson's 10 first-quarter points (10-4 lead). When Carson went on an 11-2 run to open up a 21-6 second-quarter lead, Smith had six points in the surge.
Leading 30-16 with 3:20 left in the third quarter, Carson finished the quarter on a 10-0 run. Smith had back-to-back baskets in the surge. The teams played a near-even fourth quarter, which wasn't nearly enough for the undermanned Hawks.
"I go out and do what I can," Smith said matter-of-factly. "I can be the assist person or a defensive person. I can go out and try to score as much as I can. It depends on the game."
"Savannah is being the general out there," Tolbert said. "That's a good thing. She is aware of who is out there with her. She is making good decisions and not forcing things."