After losing two of their last three games, the Carson girls basketball team welcomed the beginning of a more gentle schedule on Tuesday against Hug.
Katie Kotter and Talia Joyce each scored 12 points as the Senators used a 20-0 first-quarter run to pull away from the Hawks in a 57-31 Sierra League at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
Joyce scored all 12 of her points in the opening quarter, including on a pair of 3-pointers, and Carson shot 50 percent from the field (10-of-20). That wasn't the story in a 52-35 loss to Reno on Saturday, when the Senators couldn't hit anything.
"The thing about the Reno game was that I thought we played really good post defense," said coach Paul Croghan. "They were just hitting outside shots and we didn't shoot the ball that well. That's something we've been struggling with. They won by 17 (points) but they're not 17 points better than us."
The Hawks, who fell to 9-11 overall and 1-4 in league, were the perfect team for Carson to correct its shooting woes. The Senators (17-7, 4-2) led 33-15 at halftime and 48-18 after the third quarter. And most of those points were a result of the Senators' half court defense, which only kept the score closer than it could've been.
"We pulled back a little bit in the second half," Croghan said. "If we would've kept pressuring, we could've won by 60. I felt really good about the way we came out. I thought we played really well. I wasn't worried about them beating us."
Ten different players scored for the Senators, who play at South Tahoe and host North Valleys in their next two games, which should get them to 6-2 when they go up against Douglas and Reno the second time around.
"We got Douglas and Reno at home in the second half of the (league) season, so we control our own destiny," Croghan said. "Whoever wins the second game holds the tie breaker so we just got to get back to what we do well."
Terah Laack scored eight and Nicole Scott, Rosalia Nu-ez and Tabitha Adams all scored four more in the 26-point win. Denyda Vahn led Hug with 10 points.
But even with the lopsided win, Croghan realizes Carson's shooting, in particular free throw shooting, still needs a lot of work if it hopes to challenge for the league title. The Senators were 12-of-23 from the free throw line against the Hawks and were only 8-of-20 in a win over Wooster last Friday.
"We don't play Friday so that gives us some time to work shooting drills because we need it," Croghan said. "Hopefully that practice time will help get us out our slump."