RENO -- After what happened to the Carson High girls basketball team last season against Wooster, coach Paul Croghan knew he had to come with a way to stop the Colts' Brianne McGowan. At 6-foot-3 and with a linebacker's frame, Croghan figured McGowan would overpower the Senators' guard-oriented lineup of smaller, quicker players.
So he inserted Meghan Anderson, who responded on both ends of the floor. McGowan still ended up with 32 points but the 6-foot-1 Anderson did just enough to slow her down as Carson ran away with a 68-48 win on Friday at Wooster High.
Anderson scored a season-high 12 points, just one of three Senators in double figures. Erin Stieber tallied a team-high 23 points, most of them coming off transition baskets, which is exactly how the Senators pulled away from the Colts after being knotted 29-29 at halftime.
"At halftime, we had to make adjustments," Croghan said. "Meghan Anderson did a good job for us tonight. We expected her to help with McGowan on defense, even though she's still at least two inches smaller than her. But her offense was definitely a plus."
McGowan' accounted for almost 2/3 of Wooster's scoring. Only one other player even scored more than one field goal in the game. So despite giving up 32 to McGowan, Croghan's just happy to come away with a league win in a tough environment. It was the same environment last season when Croghan started four freshman and one sophomore in a 24-point loss to the Colts. What a difference a year makes.
"It was a dominant win on the road," Croghan said. "They had a couple of girls that graduated, so they don't have those two outside shooters like they did last year to go along with Brianne down low. That was the difference between last year's game and this year's."
The Senators (12-6 overall, 4-0 league) used their quickness in the second half break the game open. They outscored the Colts 39-19 in the second half. Leading 52-44 after the third quarter, Carson started the fourth on a 12-2 run, with Stieber accounting for six of those points and Ciarra Christian added two more baskets. Wooster (6-11, 1-2) turned the ball over six times in the fourth. With Carson pushing tempo, there was just now way McGowan could bring her team back.
"We tried to double her and stay in front, but sometimes she's just too big and strong," Croghan said. "But in the third and fourth quarters, we did a better job of it. I think she got a little tired at the end."
Christian finished with 12 points, Katie Kotter with eight, and Tabitha Adams seven for the Senators, who will take on Reno next Friday in a key Sierra League showdown. As long as Carson stays with what works, Croghan likes his team's chances.
"That's what our game plan has been since the beginning of the season (playing up tempo)," Croghan said. "We're starting to get a grasp of it now."