If anything can be learned from the finals of the Carson City Host Lions Girls Basketball Tournament, it's that the Senator's young players won't back down from anyone.
Even without one of its leaders in Erin Stieber, the Carson girls basketball team gave McQueen all it could handle before falling 46-35 Saturday at Morse Burley Gym.
With freshman Ciarra Christian, Tabitha Adams, Katie Kotter and Terah Laack, Carson (5-2) had at least three freshmen on the floor for virtually the entire game against a team that seems poised to make another run at a state title. At the end of the game, the Senators had three freshmen and two sophomores on the floor.
That's because senior Meghan Gradert had fouled out and Erin Stieber was out with what could be a serious injury. Early in the game, Stieber may have sustained a broken collarbone when colliding with a McQueen player after going for a loose ball. To add insult to injury, Stieber was called for a foul on the play.
"Hopefully she didn't break anything," Carson coach Paul Croghan said. "She's a tough kid. She's in a lot of pain.
"We missed her. She's a catalyst. She gets us going. She's definitely a leader of the team."
But without Stieber, Carson's young team pressed on. McQueen went on a 9-0 run to take a 23-11 lead late in the first half, but the Senators closed the half with a 6-0 run to pull with 23-17 at halftime.
Terrie Niederer scored after Carson broke the Lancers' press to stop McQueen's 9-0 run, making it 23-13. After grabbing a rebound, Adams passed off to Kotter, who scored in transition as time ran out to make it 23-17 at halftime.
Gradert scored inside on a pass from Christian to begin the second half, pulling Carson to within 23-19. After McQueen went up 27-19, Amanda Hoff went coast-to-coast and split two defenders down the lane for a layup to pull Carson to within 27-21. Christian then nailed a three-pointer to bring the Senators within 29-24.
Carson trailed 33-27 early in the fourth quarter when McQueen went on a 7-0 run to take a 40-27 lead, effectively putting the game away. Kotter scored on a baseline drive to stop the run, making it 40-29.
Carson kept fighting back as Adams made a steal and even though she couldn't convert on the breakaway, she rebounded her own miss and found Laack for a basket. Laack followed by hitting a jumper to pull the Senators within 42-35 before the Lancers held on.
Christian and Gradert each scored seven points and Adams added six points for Carson. Stieber, Gradert and Kotter were all named to the all-tournament team.
"I'm proud of them," said Croghan about his team. "They hung in there. We've got to learn from these kind of games. They're just going to get better."
MARINA 50, LOWRY 38
Lowry jumped out to a 16-10 lead after one quarter in the third place game, but Marina outscored Lowry 33-14 over the next two quarters to take control. Cara Congelliere scored 14 points for Marina while Tara Davis scored 11 points and Mackenzie Swecker and Miranda Hislop each added 10 points for Lowry.
ARMIJO 43, HUG 35
Tatiana Allen scored 24 points to lead Armijo past Hug in the fifth place game. Daphne Tuamohelou scored 10 points to lead the Hawks.
SPRING CREEK 49, FERNLEY 45
Chelsey Wilson scored 20 points in the seventh place game to lead Spring Creek. Carly Rogers scored 11 points, Rachel Henderson had 10 ponts, Ashley Rieger had eight points and Kaylea Dunn added six points for the Vaqueros.