RENO - Carson High girls basketball coach Nathan Tolbert said he was concerned that his team might come out lethargic against Galena after Friday's emotional win over Douglas.
And, that's exactly what happened to the Senators, who struggled to knock off the Grizzlies, 35-30, Saturday afternoon in a Sierra League game.
Carson (8-2) remained in second place, and faces a tough three-game stretch which starts Tuesday at Reed. Carson hosts first-place Manogue on Saturday and then hosts Spanish Springs on Jan. 29.
No doubt Tolbert expected more from his team which thumped Galena by 30 points in the first battle at Carson. The Senators never got a handle on Galena's 1-3-1 zone defense, which contributed to the poor offensive showing. Carson shot just 24 percent from the floor.
"I expected some sort of letdown," Tolbert said. "We beat them by 30 and we didn't play well. Having an emotional game Friday night and then turning around to play this early.
"Coach Ackerman (former Carson coach) said if were playing us, he'd zone us. It (the zone) is what we expected against Douglas. Our zone offense against Douglas was pretty good. It didn't work at all for us today, which is why I went to the spread."
The teams were never separated by more than seven points thanks to Carson's struggles at the offensive end.
Galena scored six straight points in a span of 52 seconds spanning the third and fourth quarters. Maddie Freitas knocked down two free throws, Megan Farrell hit a buzzer-beating basket to end the quarter and Paige Brown made two free throws 10 seconds into the final quarter to cut Carson's lead to 27-26.
Brown would score just one point the rest of the game thanks to excellent defensive work by Kayla Aikins.
"We had to shut her down," Aikins said. "I just tried to make sure she didn't touch the ball."
"We had to stop her (Brown) and Kaitlyn Holbrook. Kayla stepped up and did a good job," Tolbert said.
After Brown's first point of the final quarter, Gina Peacock and Farrell traded baskets o make it 29-28. Carson extended its lead to 33-28 thanks to a layup by Elena Thurman and a baseline basket by Aikins.
Both teams went cold, and Holbrook scored her only point of the game on a free throw to make it 33-29 with 2:48 to go. Peacock scored again to make it 35-29 with 1:45 left. Galena couldn't rally.
The game was tied twice in the first half 4-all and 14-all. Two buckets by Savannah Smith (10 points) and a layup by Natali Salas made it 20-16 at the break.
Elena Thurman was Carson's second-highest scorer with six, while Maddi Saarem added five, all in the third quarter. Cameron Sievers returned after a back injury and didn't score, but played well defensively and did a good job on the glass.