Expectations are set for the Carson High girls basketball team this season.
With nearly 82 percent of their scoring returning from last year’s regional-qualifying team, the Senators and head coach Douglas Whisler are looking for more this season.
Carson was fourth in the Sierra League last season with a 5-5 record (10-15 overall).
Even with a large portion of the offensive production returning to the hardwood for the Senators this season, this biggest loss from last year will be on the defensive end.
Abby Pradere averaged over three steals per contest in 22 games last year and Whisler knows finding another solid stopper on one end of the floor will help Carson plenty this season.
“Some of those younger kids are going to have to step up and continue to play good defense. That’s going to be hard to replace, but I think they’re up to the challenge,” Whisler said.
Carson has four seniors on this year’s team after losing three from last season and Whisler expects several of his seniors this season to be in the starting lineup.
Bella Kordonowy, Lilian Bouza and Camryn Quilling averaged nearly 24 points per game as a trio last season and Whisler has high expectations for his newest leaders.
“I have three seniors that are going to be returning and starting and I expect a lot of leadership out of those kids,” said Whisler.
Kordonowy was the team’s leading rebounder (6.9 boards per game) and passer (2.8 assists per game) and will need all the additional rebounding help after the losses of Pradere and Trinity Beard.
“She’s (Kordonowy) going to be huge for us,” said Whisler. “Lily Bouza is going to be a key offensive threat as well as Naycy Alvarez, Abby Golik and Camryn Quilling.”
The seniors will be accompanied by a junior class that saw plenty of varsity action last season.
Golik, Alvarez and Madison Rabideau are all back for another season in blue and white.
Golik averaged 8.4 points per contest last season while Alvarez was right behind her, posting 7.4 points per game.
Six sophomores round out the varsity roster for the Senators, all of which will be new to varsity action outside of Kayce Johnston, who played in three contests last year.
For the Senators, the offseason gave them a chance to continue to learn Whisler’s schemes and grow more accustomed to a particular style of play.
“Just continuing to build on our successes,” said Whisler. “Last year was our first year under my system ... just being able for the girls to be more familiar with what we’re doing is going to help them a lot.”
After averaging 15 steals per game as a team last season, Whisler says Carson will be a mixture of man and zone defenses depending on matchups.
Offensively, expect the Senators to get up and down the floor when they can before setting up in a motion offense in halfcourt opportunities.
Sierra League outlook
Whisler wasn’t shy about his goals for Carson this year – getting back to regionals and extending the season as long as possible once the playoffs roll around.
The toughest competition in league play will come from the usual suspects around the area.
Whisler expects Bishop Manogue and Douglas to be running at the top of the pack this year, leaving the Senators to try to play spoiler to break into the top two.
The road to regionals will start Jan. 14 when Carson begins league play against Galena on the road.