SPARKS — Take away an ugly second quarter, and the Carson High girls basketball team may have pulled off an upset of monumental proportions Tuesday night.
The Senators scored its first and only point of the second quarter 26 seconds in and went scoreless the rest of the half en route to a 59-52 loss to Reed in a Division I crossover game.
The loss dropped Carson to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in Division I play. Carson returns to action Dec. 18 at home against Spanish Springs. Reed, which played without center Nakiyah LeSure, evened its D-1 record to 1-1.
“If we play four quarters with the same intensity that we showed in the fourth quarter it would have been a different game,” Carson coach Nate Tolbert said. “We were flat and played at 3/4 speed the first half. The bottom line is if we’d played like we did in the fourth quarter it would have been a blowout win for us.
“I think our lack of intensity had something to do with that (second quarter). Even though we’re not running our offense that well right now, we still got some pretty good looks. We didn’t attack the basket which is what you need to do, especially when the 3s aren’t going in. You need to make some ‘bunnies’ to get your confidence up.”
In all reality, Tolbert had to be talking more about the second quarter than the first. Carson, thanks to some strong work on the offensive boards by Kayla Aikins and Teresa Boehmer, led 17-15 after the opening period. The poor second quarter forced Carson to play uphill the final three quarters, though it did have a chance to tie the game down the stretch.
Then came one of the worst quarters in recent memory. Carson went 0-for-14 from the floor and turned the ball over 10 times. Only Bailey Allen’s free throw, which gave Carson an 18-15 lead, saved the Senators from being blanked.
Reed ended the half with a 14-0 run, including 3-pointers by Kenna Leighton and Aneesa Mwakapumba. Reed led 29-18 at the half.
“We were pressing and just finding the shifts better,” Reed coach Sara Ramirez said. “Sometimes it takes me or the team a second to find out who is working what shifts.
“It was huge. To come in there and get a rhythm. Defense is what got us that. That’s what I’ve been preaching and they finally started trusting me.”
Reed opened the second half with six quick points, four by freshman Serene Townsell to open up a 35-18 lead with 6:38 left in the third quarter. Two buckets each by Ivy Pembrook and Boehmer enabled Carson to cut the lead to 13, 43-30, after three periods. It might have only been a 10-point deficit, but Pembrook fouled freshman Taylor Johnson on a 3-point attempt, and she converted all three free throws. Johnson and Townsell, both freshman, played well.
“My freshmen came in and played like varsity players,” Ramirez said. “I was impressed.”
Carson went on a 17-6 tear in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the final period, cutting the lead to 49-47. Pembrook led a 7-2 run with three buckets to make it 45-37, and after Reed went up 49-37 on baskets by Johnson and Shayla Carrier, the Senators scored 10 straight, four each by Melissa Glanzmann and Michelle Perry, who finished with 10 points on the night, to get the deficit to two.
Reed converted a Carson turnover into two free throws by Townsell to make it 51-47, but Perry countered with a nice drive to the basket to make it 51-49.
After an errant inbounds pass by Reed, Maddie Preston was unable to convert a layup, and Townsell scored four straight to make it 55-49 with 59 seconds left.
Carson got to the line on its next three possessions, but sank just one foul shot each time to make it 55-52 with 30.6 seconds left. Reed closed it out by making four of six free tosses down the stretch.