Carson girls no match for Centennial
Appeal Sports Writer
It was as bad as a season-opening game can get.
Carson High, hurt by the decision of several key players to not play this year, was battered by perennial powerhouse Centennial 81-13 Friday night in a non-league girls basketball game at Carson Middle School.
The Senators turned the ball over 38 times, shot 13.7 percent from the floor and were outrebounded 37-26. Those numbers certainly spoiled Todd Ackerman’s debut as the new head coach.
“The schedule was already done (when I took over),” Ackerman said. “I’m sure they looked at who was coming back when it was done. We only have two players with any varsity experience.
“It shows us where we have to get to. They are a good team. They didn’t shoot well last night (against Galena).”
Centennial shot a solid 49.2 percent from the field, one shot short of the 50 percent mark. The Bulldogs were especially hot in the second half, knocking down 21 of 34 field-goal attempts.
Centennial coach Karen Weitz certainly liked the effort her team showed.
“The biggest problem the first two games is that I felt the effort wasn’t there,” she said. “I can take care of that when we get back to practice.”
It was evident early that Carson would have problems by the way it reacted to the Bulldogs’ pressure.
Centennial, known for its full-court defense, forced six turnovers in the first 3 1/2 minutes. The only saving grace for Carson was that Centennial turned the ball over three times and missed four of its first five shots from the field.
Centennial scored the final 11 points of the period to take a 15-3 lead after the first eight minutes, as Alexis Byrd (24 points) had three points and Deanna Daniels converted a three-point play.
“They know what they’re supposed to do,” Ackerman said. “Except for two we have no varsity experience. They (Centennial) are quick. Our kids have never had to play against that type of pressure at the freshman or junior varsity level. It’s a big step up. We had some jitters.”
Weitz, who kept up the pressure the entire game, for the most part was pleased with her team’s defensive effort.
“We work hard on our defense,” she said. “We like our defense to create easy offensive opportunities. I think everybody wants that. We’re still making mistakes on defense that we shouldn’t be making.”
Centennial outscored Carson 14-2 in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second quarter thanks to eight points by Byrd. Tiandra Hudson’s basket with 5:38 left ended a six-minute drought without a point for CHS.
Yvonne Hollett hit a free throw to stop a 10-0 surge, but the Bulldogs scored six straight to end the half with a 35-6 lead.
Byrd knocked down 10 of 15 from the floor en route to leading all scorers.
“She did a nice job,” Weitz said. “She did nothing like I wanted her to the first two games.”
Carson returns to action Tuesday against Galena, and it will be a test for Ackerman to get his youngsters ready for another tough battle. There are a lot of areas that need to be cleaned up.
“We did some things on offense; putting the ball on the floor too much,” Ackerman said. “There are little offensive things. We have to be more patient with the ball.”
On a positive note, the Senators didn’t quit and never stopped hustling. They were simply outmanned.