Carson girls roll past Wooster
Appeal Sports Writer
The Carson girls’ basketball team has come a long way in a short period of time since first-year coach Ric Garcia began his tenure last fall.
“I thought we might not have a victory by the time our conference season began with me taking over,” Garcia said after the Senators ran over Wooster, 59-34, Friday at Morse Burley Gym. “We were banging off the walls as much as we were banging off the backboard.”
Although it has a 4-10 non-conference record, its 3-0 start in the Sierra League leaves Carson as one of three teams in the conference (along with North Valleys and Reno) without a loss.
“We’ve got a lot of improvement to go, but we’re playing together as a team,” Garcia said. “We’re staring to look like a basketball team.”
Just ask the Colts, who were dominated by a Senators team which played without its star player – Nicole Scott, who had to sit out because of missing a practice with a migraine headache.
“Sometimes we come to Carson and just mentally (Carson) is more motivated to play,” said Colts coach Jack Smith. “They’re enthusiastic and athletic. They outhustled us and outrebouded us. Give credit where credit is due.”
Smith said Carson’s 18-5 first-quarter – along with several key mistakes by the Colts – were enough to put his team behind the 8-ball.
“It takes the spirit out of you when you do that,” Smith said of Wooster’s slow start. “We had 12 turnovers in the first quarter. Carson is a well-coached team. Ric and (assistant coach ) Ron (Tamori) are doing a nice job.”
Carson senior Rosella Nunez led all Senator scorers with 11 points and was assisted by her whole team as a total of 13 players scored. Catherine Brekken and junior guards Sarah Evans and Kaitlin Burroughs each added seven in dropping league-rival Wooster to 3-12, 1-3.
“We’re getting better as a team. When we’re missing a person, everyone steps up,” Garcia said. “Other people are starting to make baskets. Everybody scored. It makes everybody happy.”
Excluding Wooster, that is.
The Colts trailed 32-13 at the half, by which time seven Senators had scored. A Nunez layup just before the third quarter swelled Carson’s lead to 25, at 51-26. April Harden – who led the Colts with 14 points – tried to keep her team within reach, but even her four second-half rainbow 3-pointers couldn’t draw Wooster closer than 20 the rest of the way.
“I thought we really worked together as a team,” said the 6-foot Brekken. “We got the ball around and ran our offense. We’re clicking a lot better, seeing the court better.”
The Lady Senators’ defense wasn’t bad either, allowing the Colts to reach double figures (13) in only one quarter (the third).
Next up for Carson is Sierra League rival Douglas, who will visit Carson HIgh School Tuesday at 5:15 pm.
“They’re our big rivals. We have to play as hard as we (did Friday) every game,” Brekken said. “We’re capable of doing more than we’ve been doing. We just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. It’s going to be a tough match.”
For his part, Garcia said he’s excited for his team to be playing Douglas.
“The Douglas rivalry has gone on a lot of years, long before I got here,” he said. “The kids always look forward to it. Most of them know each other. It’s a big deal. There should be a lot of people here. It should be a lot of fun.”