Familiar coaches meet at Carson
Last year, Carson High girls basketball coach Alana Williams often turned to assistant coach Shari Andreasen when the Senators faced difficult situations on the court.
Even though some old memories were rekindled on Thursday night, there was one major difference. Williams had to look across the way to see Andreasen, who was coaching from the Dayton bench in a battle between neighbor schools. And fittingly, it came down to the final minute before the Senators pulled out a 36-31 victory in the nonleague contest at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
“It was fun, in some aspects, stressful in others. I miss having her next to me because she’s a great coach. She made a lot of great calls tonight. It was like a chess match,” Williams said.
For Andreasen, Dayton’s first-year head coach who also played for Williams at Carson (1994-96), this was a new experience.
“It was fun. It was different because I’ve never been on the other side, as a player or as a coach,” she said. “But it’s always fun coming here, no matter what side I’m on.”
Defensive pressure was the difference as the Senators (5-7) forced 23 turnovers in the second half. Dayton (6-5) led 9-6 after one quarter and 14-10 at halftime, but Carson opened the third quarter in a zone press and the Dust Devils turned the ball over six straight times before they got a shot at the basket.
“We talked at halftime about getting after the game more and hustling baseline to baseline, beginning to end,” junior guard Sandra McAlman said. “We wanted to just play hard on defense and get some points on the board.”
McAlman helped light the fire with four steals in the third quarter. She finished with five steals, and four of her eight rebounds in the game also came in the third quarter.
Andrea Hoff got the ball rolling when she stole the ball in the backcourt and hit a jumper. Hoff got another takeaway moments later and fed Sarah Johnston for a jumper to tie the score, 14-14.
“Their press stymied us there in the third quarter,” Andreasen said. “It took us a while to adjust, but I was proud of the way the girls never gave up.”
Dayton also ran into foul trouble when their two tallest players, 5-foot-11 Amanda Sbragia and Rebecca Monzello picked up their fourth personal fouls. Sbragia had a double-double on the night with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
With their top scorer on the bench, the Dust Devils still managed to tie the score at the end of the third quarter when Lauren Clark beat the buzzer with a layup. Dayton took a 23-22 lead when Rebecca Clark fed Melony Cox for a layup with 5:15 left to play.
McAlman hit a free throw to tie the score, then she assisted freshman Christy Works for a layup that gave the Senators a 25-23 lead with 4:40 showing on the clock. They never trailed again.
Lauren Clark hit a three-pointer to bring the Dust Devils within 30-28 and Sbragia’s three ball made it 32-31 with 18 seconds left.
On a night when the Senators only converted 8 of 19 free throws, Johnston and Rosella Nunez went to the line in the final 10 seconds and sank four shots without missing to put the game on ice.
Johnston and Hoff finished with 10 points each to lead Carson offensively. They also had six and four takeaways respectively. Works had four points and three steals, all in the fourth quarter.
Lauren Clark, a senior who only saw limited playing time last season for Dayton, contributed eight points, including a pair of three-pointers, to go with six rebounds.
“It was a good game for us,” Andreasen said. “This is probably the toughest pressure we’ve faced all season, and that’s only going to help prepare us for our league season.”
Carson returns to action Tuesday with its Sierra League opener at home against Hug. Dayton’s Northern 3A game at Incline on Wednesday was postponed due to snow conditions and has been rescheduled for Jan. 28.
Contact Dave Price at email@example.com or call 881-1220.