CHS girls basketball already ahead of the curve heading into season |

CHS girls basketball already ahead of the curve heading into season

With a year of transition behind them, the Carson High girls basketball team and second year coach Todd Ackerman are looking to being back among Northern Nevada’s top 4A teams in 2008-2009.

Many would consider Ackerman’s first year as coach last season a rough one. For various reasons, many of the players who were on the varsity team the season before did not return to the squad for Ackerman’s first season and CHS went on to have a tough year won-loss wise and failed to make the Northern 4A playoffs.

But Ackerman said he enjoyed his first season even though it didn’t show in wins and losses. “We had a great year,” Ackerman said. “It was a fun year.”

But with a strong nucleus back from last year’s team and several players returning to the varsity after taking a year off, there’s no denying that this season has already gotten off to a better start even before the first game.

“We’re further along than we were as a team,” said Ackerman comparing this year to last season.

“We’re probably all the way up to Christmas at the same time,” said Ackerman, making another comparison between this year and last season. “We were so far behind last year. It’s a year in which we’re going to make a lot of progress.”

Ackerman said his main concern is “just to be in a position to be successful in every game. That’s the No. 1 goal.”

Then the goal will be to be one of the Sierra League’s top four teams to qualify for the playoffs. “Somewhere to make it in the top four spots and then just go from there,” Ackerman said.

The Sierra League playoff race will be as tough as ever with Galena, Manogue and Douglas all in the league this season. All three figure to be strong and all three teams have outstanding athletes like Jessica Waggoner from Douglas. “It’s going to be a tough little league,” Ackerman said.

And CHS will find out where it stands right from the start as it opens the season at Reno High in a nonleague game at 7 p.m. Friday.

“They’re probably the best team in the North,” Ackerman said. “It will be a good game to geet our feet wet.”

Carson returns its leading scorer from last year in Gina Bianchi. The Senators should be strong at guard as Yvonne Hollett and point guard Krista Mattice are also returning starters, so it’s not surprising that the Senators will run a three-guard offense.

Especially since Carson has received a boost from the return of Brandi Vega, who was Carson’s starting point guard as a freshman and sophomore, but didn’t play as a junior. “When Brandi’s on the floor we’ll get a whole new dimension,” Ackerman said. Ackerman said Vega will stay at the point guard position.

Carson has received another added boost with the addition of two seniors who have varsity experience but didn’t play last year in Blaike King and Kailey Taylor.

Other returning players from last year include senior forward Bre Anderson and senior post player Cassie Vondrak, who both received considerable playing time last year. There’s also senior Tiffany O’Day and sophomore Elayna Shine, who played a great deal last year as a freshman.

“All of those girls have gotten better,” said Ackerman about his returning players. He also said about his entire team, “They’re all working so far very, very hard.”

Rounding out the roster are sophomores Whitney Nash and Natalie Stevens giving the Senators the option of going 12 players deep.

“We’ll play all 12 players, especially early,” Ackerman said. “We have some quickness. We do have some good athletes. We’ll be more athletic than last year.”