Carson High girls hoop program has new coach
Melissa Larsen, one of the best basketball players in Carson High history, has been named the school’s new head girls basketball coach.
Larson takes over for Nathan Tolbert, who resigned after three seasons on the job. Tolbert compiled a 12-16 record last year.
Larsen, Tolbert’s top assistant for three years, was selected over former coach Todd Ackerman and CHS JV boys coach Doug Whisler for the position. She was part of two state championship teams in 1989 and 1990 under Alana Williams.
“They were all good candidates,” CHS athletic director Bob Bateman said Thursday afternoon. “Melissa had an outstanding interview. One thing we wanted was a minimum five-year commitment.
“She knows the game, and she is always coaching. She understands all aspects of the game. She’s very positive, and the girls like her.”
Bateman said one key will be getting the girls basketball class back, and getting players in a weights class.
Larsen has already hit the ground running. She’s currently working at organizing spring and summer practices and games, and she has gone out to Carson Middle School and Eagle Valley Middle School to talk about the program to the seventh and eighth graders there.
Larsen indicated the team will play a tournament in Northern California in addition to the Reno-Spanish Springs tournament. Both tournaments are usually held in December.
Carson will play in a summer league at Spanish Springs, and Larsen said it’s a good opportunity for players who aren’t playing a fall sport at CHS, to get plenty of extra work.
“I’m just really excited,” she said Friday morning. “Last year was a hard year for us. I want our team to be successful. Turnovers killed us last year. I want us to pass the ball better and move without the ball. We have to run the offense better, and that means taking the best shot and not the first open shot.
“We have a lot of work in front of us. I want to build a program here. We need to have discipline and strong fundamentals. We need to work at getting better.”
And, she has a lot of spots to fill. Larsen inherits a team with six returning players — junior center Taylor Weddell (0.9 points, 1.4 rebounds per game), senior guard Bailey Allen (2.6, 2.6), senior guard Andrea Maffei (2.4, 2.4), senior point guard Melissa Glanzmann (3.0, 1.4), junior forward Lulu Street and junior center Arianna Schmidt (1.1, 0.7).
One player Larsen could use is 5-foot-10 forward Lindy Lehman, who opted to sit out last year and concentrate on rodeo. She saw plenty of playing time as a sophomore.
“She is more than welcome to try out,” Larsen said.
Larsen has some changes in store on the defensive side of the ball.
“I want to simplify things a little more,” Larsen said. “We need to get back to basics. We have to focus on our strengths. We need to be able to stop people.”
Larsen said she is in the midst of assembling her coaching staff.