Carson High enjoyed a huge height advantage against Fernley, and the Senators' inside players Andrea Hoff and Nicole Scott made good use of it.
The pair combined for 29 points, including 18 in the second half, to spark the Senators to their first victory of the season, 54-40, over Fernley in the first round of the 24th annual Carson Girls Basketball Tournament Thursday night at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
The win sends Carson, 1-2, into the semifinals tonight at 7 against Elko, a 40-36 first-round winner over Pyramid Lake.
"It feels nice to get a win," Carson coach Alana Williams said. "They (Hoff and Scott) did use it (the height advantage) in the second half not in the first half."
Carson led 28-26 at the half, but the Senators went on a 10-2 run to take a 38-28 lead with 3:18 left in the period. It was a two-person demolition derby, as Hoff scored six points and Scott added four. Four points by Kelly Weyrick in the final 1:40 enabled the Senators to keep the lead at 10, 42-32.
Hoff continued her strong inside play in the fourth quarter, highlighting a 10-3 run with three inside baskets. The burst gave Carson its biggest lead of the night, 52-35, with 3:29 left in the game, and Williams started emptying the bench at that point.
"They are big," Fernley coach Ralph Dunn said. "I don't think we'll see that size all year. They pressed us a little bit (in the second half), and we didn't get to the places we needed to be in."
Fernley did a nice job of defending Scott and Hoff in the first half by fronting both players whenever possible and denying them the ball.
The strategy worked briefly, but Sarah Johnston made Fernley come out with four high-arching shots from the outside. Her eight first-quarter points gave Carson a quick 16-7 lead.
Fernley hung tough and took a 22-21 lead thanks to an 11-4 run led by April Shaw, who knocked down a trey and a two-pointer. The game was tied at 22 and 24 before Weyrick converted a steal into a breakaway layup and Rosella Nunez hit a runner in the lane for a 28-24 lead. The Vaqueros' Sarah Painter scored to make it a 28-26 game at halftime.
That set the stage for the second-half heroics of Scott, who had six of her 11 in the final 16 minutes, and Hoff, who had 12 of her 18.
"I saw some great passes out there tonight, which means we're getting a feel for the offense," Williams said. "We're getting a better rhythm for the game."
SPRING CREEK 45, CARSON JV 13
As expected, Spring Creek hammered the Carson JV squad in its opening-round game.
Spring Creek scored the game's first 24 points. Carson's Sarah Evans broke the drought with 1:26 left in the opening half and Brittany DeRosa knocked down two free throws with 11 seconds left in the first half.
DeRosa led Carson scorers with six points and Kayla Sanchez added three on a nice three-pointer in the third quarter.
Cisca Moore led Spring Creek with 12 points and Natalie Hawkins added seven. Nicole Hawkins finished with six points.
FALLON 40, LOWRY 38
Katrina Olivo scored with one second left to give the Greenwave an exciting victory over Lowry, which earned it a game against Spring Creek tonight at 5:30.
The score was tied at 38 when Lowry turned the ball over with six seconds left. Olivo broke to the basket, gathered up the long pass and laid it in off the glass. It was Fallon's second win over Lowry this season.
Olivo led Fallon with 21 points and 10 rebounds. She went 9 for 16 from the floor. Jessica Daum added nine, six of those coming in the first quarter. Michelle Beach added six.
Elisa Leader led Lowry with 15 points, 10 coming in the second half when Lowry went ahead 34-29 with 6:13 left. Fallon sliced the lead to 36-32 and went on to outscore Lowry 8-2 in the final 5:17.
ELKO 40, PYRAMID LAKE 36
Freshman Taylor Altenburg scored 12 points and Lorena Torres added nine to lead the Indians to a narrow victory.
The game was tight throughout. It was tied at 20 at halftime and Elko had a 26-25 lead after three periods.
Ashley Henry and Alyssa Garcia led Pyramid Lake with 14 points apiece and Taleah Reymus added six. Only four players scored for the Lakers.
Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281.