Since the 2007-08 season, Carson High’s girls basketball team has faced Reno seven times, and the results have been ugly.
Reno has outscored Carson by an average of 31 points, including a 60-13 shellacking to open the 2012-13 season.
And, because of their loss at Douglas on Friday, the Senators must travel to face the top-ranked 25-1 Huskies at 7 p.m. today in the first round of the Division I regional playoffs.
The Huskies enter the game with a 19-game winning streak. Their last loss was a 50-47 decision to Reed when Gabby Williams was healthy. They have arguably three of the top five players in the league in 5-11 senior Shalen Shaw, 6-1 senior Morgan McGwire and 6-4 sophomore Mallory McGwire. The McGwires are the daughters of former Seattle QB Dan, and nieces of ex-A’s slugger Mark. Good genes to be sure.
“We started the season with Carson a couple of times,” Reno coach Shane Foster said Saturday. “We take one game at a time. We’re not overlooking anybody or thinking ahead to anybody else. We just talk about what we want to do.”
When people talk about Reno, thoughts turn to offense. Mallory McGwire averages 16 points, Morgan McGwire averages 12 and Shaw averages 10. The defense is overlooked, and it shouldn’t be. The length of the trio makes it tough for a smaller team such as Carson to drive to the basket. It’s like shooting against redwood trees, and Carson coach Nathan Tolbert knows it.
“We have to be disciplined offensively,” he said. “We have to be patient and make good passes. We have to be able to dump it outside if they cut us off. We can’t force shots.”
He also needs Madison Preston and Michelle Perry to be on target from the 3-point line.
“Douglas did a good job on Madison,” Tolbert said. “We get Gina (Peacock) back for that game, and I’m hoping she might be able to give us a minute or two here and there.”
Tolbert wouldn’t say whether Natali Salas will play. She didn’t play in the second half of the Douglas game. She can score in bunches, but turnovers and poor shot selection have also come in bunches this season.
Reno can make teams look bad. Just ask Manogue. Reno held the Miners to 26 points recently.
“That was our best game defensively (of the year),” Foster said. “We’re doing a better job of blocking shots. We’re not just flailing at the ball. You’re not going to get a lot of shots over Mallory.”