Carson High girls basketball coach Paul Croghan has figured out what it'll take for the Senators to win the Sierra League. Just mimic exactly how the third quarter of Tuesday night's game against Douglas went, then Croghan might be in business.
Carson outscored the Tigers 23-4 in the third as a balanced scoring attack helped the Senators pull out a 52-44 win at Morse Burley Gymnasium. Carson (11-6 overall, 3-0 league) takes over first place in the Sierra League, which was held by Douglas (12-4, 2-1) coming into yesterday night's game.
Once the second half started, the Tigers were in first place no longer. Nine Douglas turnovers didn't hurt the Senators' third-quarter rally, either. Terri Niederer's basket with 5:21 left in the third gave Carson a 27-25 lead, only its second of the game. After Niederer's bucket, the Senators never gave it up, ending the quarter on a 15-0 run, with all but two of those points coming from non-starters.
"This was as dominant as we've played against a good team," Croghan said. "We've had some good quarters against North Valleys and Yerington, but not against a team like this. Douglas is a good team, they've already beaten Reno."
The Tigers never cut into Carson's lead in the fourth quarter, mostly because the Senators kept them away with their 6-of-11 foul shooting in the fourth. Not even Julie Gingrich could bring Douglas back, who finished with a game-high 16 points.
Katie Kotter was the only Carson player in double figures, scoring 10. In all, nine Senators scored, a welcoming thought for Croghan, who's been looking for more scoring production, especially from his inside players. He got that from Niederer, who finished with eight points, and reserves Brittany Puzey, Andrea Hoff, and Rosalia Nu-ez, who combined for 13 points.
"We don't expect them to score like that every game," Croghan said. "But if they can score on half of their opportunities, that's what we want."
The Tigers threatened to pull away early in the second quarter after Emily Haas' basket made it 16-9. But Carson then went on a 9-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 18-16. Amazingly, the Senators trailed only 23-19 at halftime, even though they shot only 6-of-31 from the field.
Then, the third quarter started.
Tabitha Adams finished with seven points while Ciarra Christian and Erin Stieber both scored five. Andrea Honer scored nine for the Tigers.
"In the second half, we played much better inside," Croghan said. "What a way to start the New Year for us. This was a good win. We'll savor it for, oh about, 18 hours until practice tomorrow. But this should help us with our confidence. We're young but we're getting older with experience and that's going to pay dividends for us later this season."
Carson next plays Wooster on Friday at 5:15 p.m. in Reno.