Carson girls knock off Damonte
Appeal Sports Writer
If there was any doubt about the mindset of the Carson girls’ basketball team following its heartbreaking 51-45 overtime loss to McQueen on Saturday, it put all worries to rest on Tuesday.
Nicole Scott had 15 points, Sinead McSweeney had nine and a total of 10 Senators scored in Carson’s 48-32 victory over Damonte Ranch at Morse Burley Gym.
“We came in and watched film (at 7 a.m. Monday),” said Carson freshman guard Brandi Vega, who chipped in three points to go with several assists and some tight defense. “We saw what was good and what was bad. We learned from our mistakes. It probably helped a lot. We played together as a team (Tuesday). We communicated better and stuck together the whole time.”
And after letting a seven-point lead slip away against McQueen, Carson wasn’t about to let Damonte steal this one.
While Jessica Felker was a one-girl team for the Lady Mustangs in the first quarter, scoring all six of her team’s points, she was trumped by the Carson duo of Scott and Brianna Dodge, who combined for all of the Senators’ eight points and an 8-6 lead going into the second quarter.
Carson did let a six-point lead evaporate and the Mustangs tied it 13-13 when Tess Falcone took a steal coast-to-coast, but Megan Kilty’s 3-pointer gave the Senators a 16-13 lead with 1 minute, 43 seconds remaining in the half.
Kilty later fed McSweeney for a layup and an 18-13 lead for Carson at halftime. McSweeney added a pair of free throws to make it 27-18 at 3:58 of the third before Damonte went on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 29-27 in the fourth.
Carson did not wilt, however and went on a decisive 13-4 run of its own to pull away for good.
“We missed some free throws and some shots we normally hit,” said Damonte coach Debby Hellen, whose team fell to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the Sierra League. “We missed some 3-pointers and (a lot of free throws). That right there was the difference. We usually make them.”
Hellen also heaped praised on the 6-foot-2 Scott.
“She’s huge,” Hellen said. “She did a fantastic job in there. I don’t know if we can stop her.”
Carson coach Ric Garcia was pleased, but not totally happy with his team’s performance.
“We did a better job getting the lead and not just giving it back,” he said. “We still have a tendency to foul and let them back in a bit.”
Garcia said his team remained poised even after Courtney Kollasch drilled a three to bring Damonte within 28-25 at the end of the third period.
“We were pretty calm in the huddle,” Garcia said. “Our subs ended the (third) quarter and we put our starters back in. They were calm. They just said, ‘Lets do it.’ (Damonte) kept packing it in the zone to make us hit shots from the outside. We went in the 1-4 low and used it against them.”
The Senators also caught a break when Colleen Carlson fouled out in the third quarter. The 6-footer had pumped in eight points and was having a strong defensive game.
“Fouling out Carlson was big,” Garcia said. “I told them ‘The big girl’s out. Get it inside, get it inside, get it inside.’ We didn’t make all of them, but we made most of them. When we started to hit our free throws in the last quarter, it was huge.”
Carson hit 9-of-12 free throws in the fourth quarter and stayed cool when it counted the most.
The Lady Senators improved to 6-10 overall, but more important they are now 2-0 in the Sierra League. They will next host league rival Wooster at 5:15 p.m. on Friday.