RENO - Carson High forward Andrea Hoff claims she didn't feel added pressure to have a big game offensively with teammate Nicole Scott on the sidelines Monday night.
Still, Hoff went out and enjoyed perhaps her best game of the season, scoring 23 points to lead the Senators past Damonte Ranch 56-39 in a non-league girls basketball game Monday night.
Hoff drained 11 of 15 field-goal attempts and pulled down six rebounds against the outmanned Mustangs, leading the Senators to their fourth win of the season.
"I personally didn't think I had to score more," Hoff said. "I knew we, as a team, had to step up because Nicole is such a huge part of our game. I think all of us knew we had to step it up."
Scott recently had her tonsils removed, but said she hopes to be back in the lineup Thursday night against Dayton.
Hoff, who enjoyed a five-inch height advantage, no doubt could have scored more. Often times she would pass the ball back out when Damonte Ranch tried to collapse on her down low. And, there were times when the Senators weren't as patient on offense and didn't look inside enough.
No big deal Hoff said.
"We like to work it inside out," she said. "I really don't like to keep shooting all the time. I like to see others on the team shoot more."
Though the Senators didn't have another player in double figures, they did have decent balance. Rosella Nunez scored nine points, Sandra McAlman added eight and Kelli Weyrick chipped in seven.
Hoff did most of her damage in the first quarter. She scored Carson's first six points, tying the game at 6. After Damonte Ranch went ahead 14-13, Hoff scored twice in the last 33 seconds for a 17-14 lead at the break. She got some good looks all night against Damonte Ranch's zone defense.
With the score tied at 19, Carson took control of the contest with an 11-2 run en route to a 30-21 lead after two quarters. Sinead McSweeney started the burst with a putback and Weyrick converted a three-point play to make it 24-19 with 2:57 left. Kaitlin Burroughs hit from 15 feet, and then Hoff knocked down two baskets sandwiched around a Damonte Ranch score by LaCoya McClary for the nine-point halftime lead.
The Mustangs sliced the lead to 30-24 in the first 43 seconds of the third quarter, but three free throws by Nunez, a free throw by Brianne Dodge and a putback by Sarah Johnston got the lead back up to 12, 36-24. Damonte Ranch cut the lead to 38-29 after three quarters, but that's as close as it would get the rest of the way. Hoff missed much of the third quarter when she picked up her third foul.
"I think Damonte Ranch was great," Carson coach Alana Williams said. "They never quit out there. They gave me a headache. I thought Andrea played very hard."
So did Debbie Hellen, Damonte Ranch head coach.
"We're pretty short," Hellen said. "She had 17 (actually 15) points in the first half. Our goal was to hold her to half that in the second half. I tried to put my 5-6 girl in front and our 5-7 girl in back, but once in a while that broke down.
"I thought we played pretty well for the first time against a 4A team. Had we been in better shape I would have pressed a lot more."
Damonte Ranch hadn't played or practiced the past six days, and the rustiness showed in the 30 percent mark from the field and the 25 turnovers.
Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281.