RENO - After getting dismantled, 81-13, in its season opener by Centennial on Friday, the Carson Senators girls basketball team faced a daunting task Tuesday by facing a Galena team that had beaten the Bulldogs 56-47.
The Senators gave the Grizzlies a good fight in the first quarter before being held scoreless for more than 13 minutes and eventually losing 58-23 in The Cave at Galena High School.
Sophomore Hayley Jensen led the Grizzlies with 18 points and seniors Colleen Kern and Langley Iverson added 13 and nine, respectively, as Galena, of the High Desert League, improved to 3-1 overall.
Yvonne Hollett led Carson with seven and fellow sophomore Gina Bianchi - the only Senator returning from last year's team -chipped in five as CHS fell to 0-2.
Carson nearly overcame a six-point, first-quarter deficit after Hollett scored on a Bianchi feed and Bianchi followed with a 10-footer to cut the lead to 14-12 with 15 seconds to go.
But those were the last points Carson would score until sophomore Emily Field hit her second free throw to make it 45-13 with 2:31 remaining in the third period.
Jensen's 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining in the first quarter made it 17-12 and began a 31-point run by the Grizzlies.
"In the second quarter we didn't get it done," said first-year Carson coach Todd Ackerman, the school's former track coach who took over the program after Ric Garcia resigned earlier this year. "We got out of our offense. They (the Grizzlies) got on a little run. We turned it over and didn't handle the ball very well.
"The first quarter we played well. That's one quarter; now we have to try to put a couple of quarters together."
After being forced to practically start from square one after all of its returning players - with the exception of Bianchi - elected not to play this season, the Senators have had a rough start and must now take baby steps along the path to growth.
After committing 38 turnovers against Centennial, Carson cut that total by nearly 50 percent Tuesday. The Senators had 20 turnovers against Galena, which had 10.
"When we ran our offense, we got some good shots," Ackerman said. "Plus we looked to shoot the ball more than the other night (against the Bulldogs). Our turnovers were down; that's one of the things we talked about.
"The biggest thing is we need to try and get into some kind of pressure (defense). But when you don't make baskets, you can't get into pressure."
Carson was only 9-of-38 from the floor against the Grizzlies, who made 21-of-48 of their shots. The Grizzlies also were 14-of-20 from the foul line, while the Senators were 3-of-7.
Galena, which lost to eventual zone champion Reed in the semifinals of the Northern 4A regional championships last season, led by as many as 36 - 56-20 - before senior Christy Works made it a little more respectable after scoring all of her three points on a free throw followed by a rebound and basket with 45 seconds to go.
Works, a member of the state champion cross country team, last played basketball for the varsity team as a sophomore under Garcia before serving as its manager last season.
Ackerman said his team isn't getting down on itself after its tough start.
"Their attitude is good, their emotions are fine," he said. "They don't want to lose. They play hard till the end. They just have to try and keep getting better. If we can get a 'W' along the line, it would feel a whole lot better."
Galena should be getting quite a few more victories under coach Karen Friel. She said her squad is pretty experienced, with Iverson, Colleen Mullins and Kern leading the way.
"We stepped it up defensively," Friel said. "Some steals led to some easy baskets. From there you get on a roll. Iverson is such an athlete. She can score so many ways - plus she can handle the ball. She does so many different things for us."
Galena will next face North Valleys in the Reno Tournament, which begins Thursday at Reno High School. That game begins at 3 p.m.
Things don't get any easier for Carson, which will meet regional runner-up Manogue on the road Friday at 5:15 p.m.
"They're learning," Ackerman said of his squad. "They have two days to learn some more and try to get a little better."
And for now, Ackerman and the inexperienced Senators will take any improvement they can get as they work their way toward the beginning of the Sierra League season.