Who would've thought that on senior day a freshman would make the biggest shots in Carson's win over first-place Reno? Certainly not the freshman who did.
"No, I didn't think so," said Nicole Scott.
Scott hit two big baskets late in the fourth quarter and knocked down 1-of-2 free throws with six seconds left as the Senators beat the Huskies 49-44 on Saturday at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
It was the Huskies' first Sierra League loss of the season after winning nine straight. Scott, who scored all five of her points in the final 2 1/2 minutes, thinks this is just what Carson needed, especially after it got blown at Reno three weeks ago, 52-35.
"This was a big win," Scott said. "The more wins we get, the more confident we get. I think this boosts everybody's confidence."
Reno (17-7 overall, 9-1 league) led 39-36 with 4:29 left in the game before the Senators went on a 12-2 run to go up 48-41. Sophomore Andrea Hoff hit a left hook that gave Carson the lead, then Scott hit two more baskets and Ciarra Christian added a pair of free throws as the Senators pulled away.
Coach Paul Croghan was impressed with the composure of his younger players in such a big game.
"The first time we put her in there, she was a little nervous," Croghan said of Scott. "But when we put her in the second time, she played much better, which is what happened in the first game."
When the two teams met on Jan. 18, the Huskies outscored Carson 21-7 in third quarter en route to their 17-point win. Reno hit six 3-pointers in that game and after going 8-of-13 from the field in the first quarter, a similar fate seemed in store for Carson. But the Senators, who trailed 17-7 in the first quarter, got the lead under double digits and trailed 29-22 at halftime, then slowly got back in it in the third quarter.
"We put more pressure on the ball," Croghan said. "When you have as many big girls as they do, it's important to get as much pressure on the ball as possible so they don't throw it over you. We were playing good inside defense. I thought we just played harder."
The Senators (22-7, 9-2) took their first lead of the game, 34-33, after Katie Kotter's basket with 2:37 left in the third. Carson held Reno two just two field goals in the quarter and turned the ball over only twice in the second half, compared with the Huskies' eight turnovers.
"It was kind of up and down there in the second half and we you have big players like they do, you figure they'll get a little tired," Croghan said. "They didn't run up and down as much in the first game, they just hit those 3's in that one run in the third quarter. We played a lot better today, we played a lot better than the first time."
Kotter and Talia Joyce led the Senators with eight points and Christian had seven. Hoff, Bethany Henry, Rosalia Nu-ez and Terri Niederer both had four. Carson clinched the second seed in the Northern 4A playoffs with the win and, barring a Reno loss in its final two games, will host the No. 3 seed from the High Desert League in the first round. It plays at Hug next Friday
The Huskies' Elizabeth Fox led all scorers with 11 points.