Aided by a 27-point first quarter, the Carson Senators posted a 76-60 semifinal victory against Elko during the 24th annual Carson Girls Basketball Tournament on Friday night at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
Six-foot-2 junior forward Nicole Scott scored 28 points and Andrea Hoff 16 to lead an inside game, while guard Kelli Weyrick contributed 12 points from the outside to help the Senators (2-2) advance to the championship round and a 1:30 p.m. meeting today against undefeated Spring Creek.
The two teams were even at 17-17 on the scoreboard 6-1/2 minutes into the game before the Senators surged to a 27-20 lead at the end of one quarter and 44-38 at halftime.
"It took us a little while to get our offense warmed up, but after that we knew we had it going," said Weyrick, who handed out four assists to go with her 12 points. "Our offense is coming along well. We really have a good inside-outside game. When we hit the outside shots, that opens up the inside, and when we hit the inside shots, that opens up the outside."
Sandra McAlman scored on a follow shot to break a 17-17 tie with 1:26 left in the first quarter, Hoff put in a layup off an assist from Kaitlin Burroughs, then sophomore Anna Macquarie and freshman Christy Works came off the bench and contributed field goals as the Senators opened up a seven-point lead. Scott scored eight points in the opening period.
Elko did get back to within 31-30 midway through the second period, only to see the Senators take off on an 13-3 run. Showing flashes of that inside-outside combo, Sarah Johnston fed Weyrick for a layup, Johnston connected on a three-pointer and Scott went inside to extend the lead to 38-31.
"I think they're doing a good job executing the offense right now," Carson coach Alana Williams said. "They're passing the ball very well."
Just look at the assist column. Rosella Nunez and Johnston were credited with seven assists each, Hoff with six, Weyrick four and Burroughs three on the night.
"When you get that kind of sharing on a team, that's pretty good," Williams said.
The Senators showed some depth, she added.
"I thought we had some bright spots as far as younger kids coming in, like Anna (Macquarie) and Hannah (Works), and helping us at critical points in the game."
Elko (2-4) was led by its freshman combo of guard Lorena Torres with 22 points and forward Taylor Altenburg with 16. Torres hit three shots from beyond the three-point arc. Elko shot 23-for-34 from the free throw line.
SPRING CREEK 53, FALLON 51
Nicole Hawkins scored seven of her 15 points inside the final three minutes to help Spring Creek (6-0) defeat Fallon and earn a berth in the championship game.
In a game that saw six lead changes in the second half, Spring Creek rallied from deficits of 33-29 in the third quarter and 45-44 in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated on the season.
Trailing by four points midway through the third quarter, the Spartans switched to a 2-3 zone defense and held Fallon scoreless over the next 6 minutes, 38 seconds en route to taking a 42-35 lead.
Fallon came back with a run of its own, ignited by Michelle Beach and Ashley Sloan three-pointers, with Sloan's shot giving the Greenwave a 45-44 lead with 4:19 left to play.
Hawkins connected on a three-pointer, assisted by Johnna Ward, to put the Spartans on top. Another shot by Hawkins broke a 47-47 tie and her last score, assisted by Cisca Moore, put the Spartans on top 51-49 with 1:40 to go.
Fallon got within 53-51 on a Katrina Olivo putback, then got the ball back with 45 seconds remaining with a tenacious defense forced a turnover. The Greenwave never got a good look at the basket, however, and a three-point shot glanced off the rim as time expired.
Moore finished with nine points and Anna Musolf eight for the Spartans. Hawkins had three three-pointers.
Olivo led Fallon with 15 points, six of which came in the fourth quarter, while Jessica Daum scored 10.
FERNLEY 54, PYRAMID LAKE 40
Sophomore guard April Shaw scored 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers, to help Fernley defeat Pyramid Lake.
Becky Murphy contributed 12 points for the Vaqueros, who held a 29-22 lead at halftime. Ashley Henry led all scorers with 17 points for the Lakers.
LOWRY 49, CARSON JV 23
Elisa Leader scored 16 points and Kylie Owsley 11 as the defending tournament and 3A state champion Buckaroos won the consolation bracket game.
Owsley scored eight in the first quarter as Lowry took a lead it never relinquished. Leader scored 11 of her game-high points in the third period.
Beth Perez scored six points and Abby Rankl five to lead Carson offensively.
Carson plays Pyramid Lake in the tournament's seventh-place game this morning at 9. Lowry plays Fernley in the consolation final at 10:30 and Fallon faces Elko in the third-place game at noon.
Contact Dave Price at email@example.com or call 881-1220.