Carson girls cruise past Wooster

RENO - Although the Wooster Colts did manage a brief lead early in the first quarter, by the end of the game the only drama was whether all 13 of the Carson Senators would get on the scoreboard.

With 44 seconds left in the game, sophomore Blaike King converted one of her two free throws to become the last Lady Senator to score as Carson went on to a 78-46 Sierra League victory over the Lady Colts at Craig Congdon Gym at Wooster High School.

Carson improved to 2-0 in league and 13-3 overall, while dropping the Colts to 0-4, 2-13.

"It was a good game," Carson coach Ric Garcia said. "It gave us a good chance to work on (playing against) the zone. It was our emphasis in practice. We're going to see several teams in a row who will play in a zone. We struggled Tuesday against the zone (in a win against Damonte Ranch).

"We tried to get everybody a lot of playing time. It was one of those fun games for the kids who work hard every day in practice and don't get a lot of time. This is their chance."

Freshman Danielle Peacon led the Senators with 15 points. Two other Senators scored in double figures - junior forward Abby Rankl had 13 and senior guard Kaitlin Burroughs added 10 - and Garcia played mix-and-match with his lineup.

"We did well. We rotated everybody, which was good," said the 17-year-old Rankl. "We had groups of five. We were in with someone we don't normally play with. It's good. Lots of times in a game you only sub one or two in and out. Now you're thrown in with someone you're not used to. That's good in a game to get some playing time."

Garcia said the activity has been beneficial for Rankl, who has been nursing a swollen ankle since the start of the season.

"Abby has been coming along," Garcia said. "She's getting healthy. It's helping her. She's a leader on the team. She inspires everybody and keeps them in line. She's only a junior, but she brings a lot of leadership."

Another year of experience and working with Garcia - in his second year - seems to be bringing the best out of Rankl and her teammates.

"I'm more confident," Rankl said. "I'm getting used to Coach (Garcia) and what he wants us to do, what he's looking for from me plus the team. We're not playing like we don't have a lot of seniors. Our four seniors this year have stepped it up. Even our rookies like Danielle and (freshman guard) Gina (Bianchi) are having outstanding games and are amazing this year."

And on Friday, everybody got into the act as Carson took its largest lead - 33 points (65-32) - when senior Megan Kilty found Kaitlin Burroughs for a 3-pointer to end the third quarter.

"You can say something good about every player we have," Garcia said.

One in particular was Burroughs, who had a pair of 3-pointers and supplied some senior leadership.

"She's really been working hard," Garcia said of the 5-foot-6 Burroughs. "It's been her best year by far. She started last year for us. It's just her composure. She's not getting excited. She's not forcing her game. She's letting the game come to her this year. She's not going to take shots that's not there. Her shot selection is outstanding."

The 18-year-old Burroughs, also a standout center fielder for the Senators softball team, credited her continued development to her fellow players.

"I think I have a lot of teammates. Nobody is being selfish out there," Burroughs said. "We move around the ball a lot. This year is a lot better than last year. We have better teamwork and more confidence. I feel a lot more confident this year. This year everyone believes in me more."

Carson led 20-14 at the end of the first quarter and built its lead to 22 at the half (42-20).

Wooster guard April Harden had four 3-pointers and led the Colts with 22 points. Briahna Hendrix added nine for Wooster, which couldn't match up with Carson's rotating lineups.

Next up for the Senators is a road game with Hug.

"Hug's scary," Garcia said. "We blew them out at (Carson) last year, then we went to their place and went to overtime (a Senators win). We're not going to take them lightly. They're one of the scariest games of the year."

Garcia said he's pleased but not satisfied with his team's development this year.

"I think we're ahead of last year for this time," he said. "But we're showing we're still not a polished team yet. We make unforced errors. Our goal is less than 15 in turning over the ball. We're averaging 20. That's too many."

The Carson-Hug game begins at 3:15 p.m. today at Hug High School.

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