RENO-With three fouls on Reno High School center Melissa Padgett and the Senator girls' basketball team trailing only 24-22 early in the third quarter, Carson appeared to have the Huskies on the ropes in their division opener on Friday night.
But it was the Senators' shooting which took a dive over the game's final 12 minutes, as Reno pulled away for a 50-36 win. If neither Reno or Carson loses to another Division II opponent, the Senators must defeat Reno by at least 15 points when the Huskies visit Carson City on Jan. 25 to claim the division championship.
Carson coach Paul Croghan said the team's poor shooting - just 20.9 percent for the game - was just something his players would have to work through. He said he was confident that, when shooting at a normal percentage, the Senators were as good as Reno.
"We've had that problem before, and we'll just keep working until we get it right," Croghan said. "We just need to be more selective when shooting."
In the second, Carson fell behind 18-8 before Senator post player Pam Williams went on a personal run of her own, scoring eight straight points for Carson to cut the Husky halftime lead to 24-18. Williams would finish the game as Carson's high scorer with 16 points.
The Senators pulled within two points twice during the third quarter, the latest time at 30-28 with 1:23 remaining in the period on a short jumper by Alyson Thurman.
But Reno went on a 7-0 run late in the third and early in the fourth quarter to take a 37-28 lead before Thurman, who finished with 12 points, scored the Senators' first basket of the quarter.
The Huskies' lead continued to grow during the fourth, as six Reno players combined to score 15 points. Carson could only muster eight in the final period.
Padgett would never draw her fourth foul, finishing the game with 16 points. Meghann Hackstaff, who played for Wooster High last year before transferring to Reno, also added 12 for the Huskies.