RENO – For three quarters the Carson High girls basketball team played right with top-seeded Bishop Manogue in the Class 4A Northern Region semifinals at Spanish Springs.
However, the Miners outscored the Senators 18-5 in the third quarter en route to a 43-34 win Thursday night.
The loss ends the Senators’ season with a 17-8 overall record and comes two days after Carson won its first postseason contest since 2012 – a 43-41 win over Reno.
Carson also finishes the season allowing just 40.4 points per game on the defensive end of the floor, the fewest a Senator team has allowed since prior to 2006.
“We stressed that from day one, defense is not negotiable
with us. You have to play defense or you don’t play,” said Carson head coach
Doug Whisler. “These girls bought in and played their hearts out.”
Limiting the chances
The opening half played right into Carson’s game plan as the Senators used their aggressive defense to force turnovers and keep Bishop Manogue out of the lane.
The Senators held the Miners to just six points in the second quarter and in doing so took an 18-17 lead into the halftime intermission.
Out of the break, Carson adjusted its defense from a 3-2 zone to a 2-3, but the Miners used the change to their advantage.
After scoring 17 points in the opening half, Bishop Manogue put together 18 points in the third quarter to jump out to a 35-23 edge.
“We might have over-coached them a little bit,” said
Whisler. “We thought we’d switch for a couple possession to see if it would
work and it didn’t work.”
Bishop Manogue scored the first six points to start the fourth quarter, opening up the largest lead of the contest, 41-23.
Carson held the Miners to one basket over the final 4:24 of regulation and in doing so cut the deficit to single digits before the final buzzer.
The Senators made a switch to man-to-man in the fourth quarter, putting Naycy Alvarez on Manogue’s Kenna Holt.
“I think she did a great job,” said Whisler of Alvarez. “Kenna
is a division one basketball player, … I think Naycy held her own against her.”
In the opening half, Bishop Manogue countered the Senators’
defensive intensity with an equal amount of energy, running a full court press
for a majority of the first 16 minutes.
When the Senators escaped the press, they were off to the
races putting in layups off steals and quick transition looks.
Embracing the historic
There wasn’t a Senator postgame who was content with the loss, but senior Lily Bouza said she couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish her high school career.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t want to end any other way,” said
Bouza. “This year was a really special year. … We’ve made unbelievable memories
and did incredible things on the court where we really surprised people.”
With the accolades of an impressive year, Carson finishes off the season with the closest contest its played in three meetings against Bishop Manogue.
“We’ve accomplished a lot this season,” said Bouza, who
ended her high school career with an 11-point outing. “We won our first playoff
game. We can’t be happier with what we’ve accomplished.”
Along with Bouza, Carson will lose seniors Bella Kordonowy,
Camryn Quilling and Emma McCoy to graduation in the spring.
Quilling capped her final game with a team-high 12 points.
“Our seniors, we’re going to miss them,” said Whisler. “I
feel like we exceeded our expectations. We were leading one of the top teams in
the north at halftime. The girls did a great job.”