A little patience, please.
With just two returning players — senior Lulu Street and sophomore Haley Garver — Carson High will field probably the youngest team in at least the last 13 years.
Several seniors opted not to play this year which robbed second-year head coach Melissa Larsen of some valuable experience.
“We’re very young,” said Larsen, who guided Carson to a 5-11 league record and 8-16 overall. “We have a mix of young and old. Lulu is our only senior, and she’s taken on the leadership role already.
“It is going to be a tough season. We are going to have to work real hard to compete. We are going to have to work really hard to be competitive and stay in games. We want girls who love the game, have a lot of heart and have a competitive spirit.”
Larsen is emphasizing playing a full 32 minutes and not checking out when things get tough, which happened several times last year. The Senators lost several games by more than 30 points, and Larsen wants to cut back or hopefully eliminate those lopsided games altogether.
One change in the rules this year is the mercy rule is 35 points, and once that’s eclipsed, the running clock starts. Running time remains the rest of the game even if the deficit gets below 35.
“We are building a program, and that takes time,” Larsen said. “We are going to win some and we’re going to lose some, and we have to learn how to deal with that.
“There are so many concepts (skills). Some girls have some skills, but don’t have others. We are working on that.”
One thing Larsen likes about her young squad is its aggressiveness. Last year’s team was passive at both ends of the floor.
“They are not afraid to shoot or take the ball to the basket,” Larsen said.
On paper, Garver (5.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 42 percent from the floor) is Carson’s best player. She got a tremendous amount of playing time as a freshman, and that should help immensely. Street averaged 1.1 points and 2.5 rebounds a game last year.
“Haley played strong in the post last year,” Larsen said. “We’ve been working with her defensively. She has been bothered by shin splints.”
Larsen does have some size coming up from the JV squad in leading scorer, 5-10 Ku’ulei Haupu, and 6-foot Dajarrah Navarro. Two guards moving up are Lauren Lemburg and Abbey Paulson.
“Ku’ulei was a good scorer on the JV level,” Larsen said. “She will have to adapt to a much faster pace on varsity.”
The remainder of the roster includes freshmen Bella Kordonowy and Camryn Quilling, juniors Blanca Sosa, Jasmine Peralta and Amanda Schulz, and sophomore Jailene Salciedo.
Carson opens the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at Reno.