Carson High’s struggles at the end of games could be attributed to the fact they’ve hardly ever been at full strength, but Senator coach Doug Whisler won’t use that as an excuse.
Even though his team was able to hang with a solid McQueen team up until there was about four minutes left in the game, it still was a bitter pill for Whisler and the Carson High girls basketball team when the Lancers went on an 11-0 run to end the game on their way to a 44-27 win at Tom Andreasen Court on Wednesday. McQueen improved to 11-1 on the season while Carson fell to 4-8.
CHS was playing without three key players in Emma McCoy, who’s out for the season with a torn ACL, Camryn Quilling who hadn’t returned from Christmas vacation, and Abby Golik, who was out with an ankle injury. Whisler said he hoped Golik would return for Carson’s next game at Hug on Tuesday.
Carson could have really used Golik’s threat as a three-point shooter against McQueen, especially with its offensive struggles in the first half when it fell behind 20-11 at halftime and scored only two points in the second quarter. Lily Bouza, Carson’s leading scorer, also only scored six points against McQueen.
Still, the end of the game was bothering Whisler.
“No intensity at the end,” he said. “I’m disappointed with the way we finished the game. We’re going to have to learn to finish these games.”
But Whisler was also philosophical, noting his team was able to trail a strong McQueen by just six points midway through the fourth quarter despite the first half struggles.
“Nothing would fall for us especially in the first half,” he said. “It was good for us to be down by just six points with four minutes to go in the game. McQueen’s a good team.”
With the lack of offensive firepower only three CHS players scored. Naycy Alvarez scored 13 points, Camille Kordonowy added eight points and Bouza added six points to account for Carson’s scoring.
Alvarez scored Carson’s first seven points and hit a three-pointer to pull CHS within 6-5. The Senators trailed 12-9 after one quarter. Carson, though, was outscored 8-2 in the second quarter. Bouza scored Carson’s only basket in the second quarter to pull CHS to within 14-11.
Carson trailed by as much as 30-17 late in the third quarter but fought back to make the game interesting. Alvarez began Carson’s rally by hitting a three at the end of the third quarter to make the score 30-20. Alvarez hit another jump to pull the Senators to within 33-27.
“They’re getting better,” said Whisler about his team. “We’re going to figure it out.”