CHS girls basketball picks up first win
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
Brandi Vega didn’t look at all like a player that hadn’t played in a real basketball game in more than a year.
Vega, who didn’t start because she missed some practice time last week, came off the bench to score 19 points and spark Carson to a 64-58 nonleague girls basketball win over North Valleys Tuesday night at Morse Burley Gym.
The victory evened Carson’s record at 1-1. North Valleys, which was playing its fourth game in five days, dropped to 2-2.
Vega did most of her damage in the second and fourth quarters, scoring 16 of her team-high total in that span. Ten of those came in the fourth quarter when the Senators were able to pull away in the final 2 1/2 minutes for the win. She scored Carson’s last five points, all at the line.
“I thought I did OK for my first game back,” Vega said. “I was a little nervous in the beginning, but as the game wore on I relaxed.”
Carson coach Todd Ackerman was pleased with Vega’s play and the win, but a little unhappy with how his team handled the ball. Carson turned the ball over 29 times.
“She plays so much faster than everybody else,” Ackerman said. “She has to learn how to rein that in a little bit, especially when we’re ahead. We don’t need to jam it down their throats. It’s her first game back in more than a year, and she does bring a whole other dimension. The other girls have to learn how to play (that way).
“A win is a win even if it was sloppy. We got our first win a whole lot sooner than we did last year. “
Carson struggled early in the game, turning the ball over 10 times, en route to 16-13 lead. Gina Bianchi cored eight of her 15 in the first quarter.
She scored all three of her second-quarter baskets in the first 4 1/2 minutes to spark Carson to a 32-21 lead. However, North Valleys scored seven straight points to cut the deficit to 32-28 at the intermission. The Senators turned the ball over four times in that stretch and also missed two field goal attempts.
“It was silly mistakes,” Ackerman said. “They’re mostly mental. We’re not thinking fast enough. We need to think faster than our opponent thinks. We didn’t do a good job of handling the ball; controlling the ball.”
Cassie Vondrak, who was saddled with foul problems in the first half, led a 9-2 surge at the outset of the third quarter to up the Senators’ lead to 41-30 with 4:40 remaining.
Vondrak picked up her fourth foul moments later, and North Valleys was able to trim the deficit to 45-38 after three. Bianchi, who was quiet in the second quarter, had five more points in the third.
Carson’s lead stayed at seven in the first couple of minutes of the fourth quarter. The Senators went on an 8-3 run thanks to two buckets from volleyball star Blaike King and a lay-up by Vega to stretch the lead to double digits again, 55-43, with just over four minutes left.
North Valleys, led by Shakia Walker, scored seven straight to make it 55-50. Walker, who led North Valleys with 19, had five in that stretch, including a three-point play. She proved to be a tough guard most of the night. She went to the line 17 times and made 11.
“We didn’t do a good job of taking her right hand away,” Ackerman said. “I don’t think she ever beat us with her left hand. She’s a good slasher and a tough match-up.”
Carson’s lead was still five, 59-54, with a minute left. The Panthers had a chance to trim it to two or three after Walker blocked Bre Anderson’s shot, but Dorothy O’Meolia misfired at the other end.
Forced to foul, Vega made five of six foul shots in a 25-second span to get the lead to 10 and clinch the game.
As disappointed as Ackerman was with turnovers, North Valleys coach Bob Bentley was even more so. The Panthers turned it over a whopping 31 times.
“If we take better care of the ball we’re OK,” said Bentley. “We have to learn to pass to the same color short.”
JV BASKETBALL: Carson 58, N. Valleys 35
Tiana McAllister-Daggs and Kate Schulz combined for 22 points to lead Carson to an easy win over North Valleys.
McAllister-Daggs also pulled down 10 rebounds. Ashley Saarem scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds.