RENO - It would have been easy for the Carson High girls to throw in the towel after a horrendous first quarter which saw the Senators go 1-for-11 from the field and turn the ball over 14 times leading to 20-point deficit.
The Senators gamely fought back and actually outscored McQueen by 13 points over the next three quarters en route to a 80-73 loss Friday night in a Northern 4A crossover game at John Flynn Gymnasium.
The loss dropped Carson, which chopped the once 20-point lead for McQueen down to five in the final minute of the game, to 4-4 in 4A play and 11-7 overall. McQueen is 4-2 in 4A play.
Carson's bench actually played better than its starters, and it could mean some changes coming next week.
"I told them we were going to get pressure, and that we had to handle the pressure from the get-go," Carson coach Todd Ackerman said about the quarter which saw the 14 turnovers lead to 16 of McQueen's 25 points. "We didn't make any shots and that got us into a big hole.
"That second group of five girls started to play pretty well. We have started different people at different times. We did that in Vegas. I'm not saying we will and I'm not saying we won't. The girls fought hard (after the first quarter)."
Starter Whitney Nash led Carson with 16, including 12 in the second half. Eliza Matley came off the bench to score 15, 11 of those coming in Carson's 30-point fourth quarter. Tiana McAllister-Daggs added 10 points. Another reserve, freshman Savannah Smith, dropped in nine second-half points for the Senators.
The Senators' effort caught the attention of McQueen coach Joe Bischopink.
"It came down to free throws at the end," he said. "We missed just enough (15 of 30 in the fourth quarter) and they made just enough so that they were able to keep fouling us.
"I think we got a little gassed, a little tired, after that first quarter. It was tough to maintain that kind of intensity. I knew that first quarter wasn't going to last. They played hard and made us make mistakes."
Carson trailed 31-7 with a little less than six minutes left in the first half, but the Senators went on a half-ending 14-4 run to go into the locker room trailing 35-21. Lisa Yamamoto had six of her seven points in the second period as Carson turned the ball over just four times in the quarter.
McQueen maintained a lead between 15 and 24 points in the third quarter. Two straight 3-pointers by Katy Hufford gave the Lancers a 53-29 lead, but Carson scored 14 of the next 20 to make it 59-43 after three. McAllister-Daggs scored eight of her 10 in the third while Smith drained two 3-pointers.
"Savannah played well in the second half; from the middle of the third quarter and in the fourth quarter," Ackerman said.
Matley stepped up in the fourth quarter leading Carson on an 11-5 run to make it 64-54 with approximately 5 1/2 minutes to play. Matley had four buckets in that stretch while Nash dropped in a 3-pointer.
An 8-3 run by Carson late in the game shaved McQueen's lead to 77-72 with 59 seconds remaining. Shine had four free throws and a bucket to lead the surge. Carson was unable to get any closer.