Carson girls top South Tahoe |

Carson girls top South Tahoe

Nevada Appeal Sports Writer

The Carson High School girls basketball team opened the Sierra League season with a bang Tuesday night.

Carson junior guard Gina Bianchi scored 12 points and senior forward Cassie Vondrak added 11 to lead the Senators to an easy 49-33 victory over South Tahoe at Morse Burley Gym.

“To start 1-0 in league and beat them is great,” second-year Carson coach Todd Ackerman said. “It was a game we should have won. We did what we had to do to win.”

At 5-2, it’s a far cry from the beginning of last season, when for a variety of reasons Carson was down to one healthy returning starter in Bianchi. Carson started off 0-7 last season and didn’t win until late December.

Ackerman would love to bottle what the Senators did at the outset of the first, third and fourth quarters on Tuesday. In each of those periods Carson started with a big surge to put South Tahoe in big holes.

Carson, behind Bianchi’s eight points, rolled to a 14-0 lead before South Tahoe scored the final six points of the quarter to make it 14-6.

“Gina got going and Brandi (Vega) made a lot of things happen,” Ackerman said.

South Tahoe, thanks to a 9-0 run, cut the lead to 20-17 with 1 minute, 51 seconds left in the second quarter. However, a 3-pointer by Whitney Nash gave the Senators a 23-17 lead at the intermission.

“We tried to do too much,” Ackerman said. “We just didn’t take care of the ball. We don’t realize every possession is important.”

Carson opened the second half with back-to-back putbacks by Vondrak, a layup by Bianchi and a bucket by Elayna Shine to open up a 31-17 lead. Carson, however, failed to score in the final 5 1/2 minutes and South Tahoe pulled to within 31-23 after three quarters thanks to a 6-0 run.

A 15-2 surge in the first 4:07 of the final quarter enabled Carson to increase its lead to 45-23 with 3:53 left.

Bianchi, Tiffany O’Day and Shine scored baskets and then Vondrak converted a three-point play for a 40-23 lead. Nash tossed in her second 3-pointer to make it a 20-point lead.

South Tahoe ended the drought with a basket with 4:12 left and then O’Day scored for a 45-25 lead.

Ackerman was pleased with his team’s defense and defensive rebounding.

“At times we did a very good job,” Ackerman said. “We didn’t give up too many second shots. Defense is always something we have to pay attention to, to work on. We have to do better.”

South Tahoe fell to 2-5 overall and 0-1 in league.

Carson will next play in a nonleague match against Spanish Springs. Tip-off is 5:15 p.m. at Carson High School.


The Senators rolled to a 14-1 first-quarter lead and never looked back against the Vikings.

Jazmyn Stokes had a team-high 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Senators, who took a 22-6 lead into the half.

Tiana McCallister-Daggs scored nine points and added nine boards for Carson, which also got eight points apiece from Eliza Matley, Bre Perry and Lisa Yamamoto. Yamamoto also had seven rebounds, while Perry contributed four steals.


The Senators had a solid 12-girl effort in their Sierra League opener against the Vikings.

Salena Ghostbear had a team-high seven rebounds and Lisa Rogers added six for Carson, which also got four assists from Kahlia Wahpepah and three assists from Alexandra Schlager.

Carson, which led 34-2 at the half, improved to 9-0 overall, 1-0 in league.

– Contact Darrell Moody at or 881-1281.