MINDEN – The result of Carson and Douglas High girls basketball Tuesday night could have gone a number of ways and each would have shifted the Sierra League landscape.
The Senators left Minden with a 47-33 win, escalated by a fourth quarter defensive performance that left Senator head coach Doug Whisler grinning from ear to ear.
The result also leaves Carson, Damonte Ranch and Douglas all with 3-2 Sierra League record and wins against each other, adding importance to the final stretch of the regular season.
Carson led 30-29 to begin the fourth quarter as both teams’ defenses set the tone throughout the night.
With less under 4:15 to play Carson guard Lily Bouza swiped a steal, which led to a Bella Kordonowy fast break layup, putting the Senators out in front 33-31.
Taylynn Kizer responded with Douglas’ only made field goal in the final quarter of play, tying the contest at 33-33.
The Senators picked up their next five points at the charity stripe, taking advantage of significant time in the double bonus.
Camryn Quilling made it 40-33 Carson with two minutes to go on two free throws and then willed the Senators their two final baskets, sealing the contest.
After diving after loose balls all night and chasing Tiger players around in the half court, Quilling tallied the final two blows with two steals and drives to the basket for layups.
“Camryn is just a freak athlete,” said Whisler. “She’s so athletic and when she decides she wants the ball, she goes and gets it.”
The two buckets gave Carson a 44-33 lead inside of the final 60 seconds before three more free throw makes from Bouza put the final tally in ink.
“These girls, they’re awesome,” said Whisler. “It’s hard to get these guys down. When they do get down, they work hard and they don’t give up.
“They did an awesome job tonight. Anytime you get a win over Douglas it’s awesome,” added Whisler.
Quilling ended her night with nine points while Bouza had a team-high 17 after shooting 7-of-10 at the free throw line.
Abby Golik contributed 11 points to the Senators’ cause, with eight of those 11 coming in the third quarter.
Douglas prepares for final five-game stretch
The Tigers didn’t give Carson a chance to give up.
Outside of the final two minutes of regulation, the biggest lead either team had came in the second quarter when the Tigers led 15-9 after Riley Mello drilled a 3-pointer from the wing.
However, it was Kizer who did most the damage on the offensive end of the floor for Douglas, finishing with 17 points.
Kizer closed the first quarter with two 3-pointers in front of the Carson bench to give Douglas an 8-5 edge.
Two teams that rely heavily on their defense were able to trade buckets when they needed Tuesday night, especially in the third quarter.
It wasn’t a high scoring eight minutes for the Tigers, but the baskets came at big moments.
After Carson regained a lead midway through the third, Lois Tarkanian buried a triple from the wing to put Douglas back in front 24-23.
Kizer also hit a triple to tie the affair at 27-27, but some missed chances on inside baskets allowed Carson to stay on the Tigers’ heels.
“A lot of negative turnovers and a lot of standing around, which is usually not like us,” said Douglas head coach Brian Mello. “This one game doesn’t define us.”
Along with some missed baskets inside, allowing the Senators to take 15 shots at the free throw line in the fourth quarter also proved costly.
“We wanted to be aggressive and we knew that was one of our strengths, we just weren’t smart about it,” said Mello of the Tigers’ defense. “It was pressure. It just wasn’t smart pressure.”
UP NEXT: Carson (13-5, 3-2) will host three of its final five games on its home floor, starting with Galena (4-14, 1-4) Friday night.
Douglas (11-7, 3-2) will turn around and head to Wooster (7-11, 0-5) Friday, looking to get back in the win column against a Colt team the Tigers defeated 60-5 Jan. 14.
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