Senator girls fall to Reed |

Senator girls fall to Reed

Appeal Sports Writer
SPARKS - Nobody can accuse second-year Carson girls basketball coach Ric Garcia of taking the easy road to what

The Lady Senators opened their season against state runner-up Reed on Thursday and came up on the short end of an 87-50 trouncing at Reed High School.

Carson will host state semifinalist Galena in its next game on Tuesday at Morse Burley Gym.

Kayla Williams scored a team-high 28 points for the Lady Raiders, who were the sharper, quicker, more in-sync team in their season-opener. Jordan Rogers added 17 points and Erica McKenzie and Mary Sprinkel each added 14 for the Raiders, who were also a combined 19-of-22 from the foul line.

“We came out ready to play,” said second-year Reed coach Sara Schopper, whose team went 21-9 and lost to Bishop Gorman in last year’s state championship game. “I liked the way we came out and played defense. Our transition offense was better than I expected.”

Six-foot freshman center Danielle Peacon had a team-high 12 points for Carson, which also got 11 points from senior guard Kaitlin Burroughs. The Lady Senators were 11-of-18 from the foul line.

“You’d think I’d be down, but I’m not,” said Garcia, whose team went 16-14 last year and lost to Galena in the regional semifinals. “I think we can compete. We’re athletic enough. We didn’t get back, didn’t block out and we got confused when they switched from zone to man and back and forth. Those things we can correct. We’ll be OK.”

Carson had one lead in the game – a foul shot from sophomore guard Brandi Vega put the Senators up 1-0 – but McKenzie hit the first of her two 3-pointers in the game and Reed never trailed again.

The Lady Raiders went on an 8-0 run to make it 11-3 with 4 minutes, 38 seconds to go in the first quarter. And following a Megan Kilty lay-up for Carson, Reed went on a 19-4 tear to make it 30-9 at 4:28 of the second quarter.

Carson was held scoreless for 6 minutes, 34 seconds until Burroughs hit one of her two free throws to make it 30-10 at the 3:59 mark. Reed went into halftime with a 40-22 lead.

“We confused them,” Schopper said. “We have more defensive sets than offensive ones and we like to switch every three or four possessions. We try not to let our opponents execute offensively.”

The Lady Raiders were successful in that endeavor, forcing several turnovers and following up with uncontested lay-ups in transition. Reed was also more comfortable and was able to make sharp passes for open looks.

Peacon was one bright spot for Carson and she pulled down several rebounds in providing a post presence.

“She did a lot of freshman things and she did a lot of upperclassman things,” Garcia said of Peacon. “Her potential is unbelievable. In the early stages she didn’t block out when she was supposed to and she didn’t know where to go, which hurts the team. It was still a little helter-skelter out there.

“But I think as the year progresses, we can be on top as a team. We had 16 wins last year. Our goal is to win over 20 and maybe be in the fight for a state berth.”

Reed went on a 12-4 spurt – which was capped by an Audrey Campbell jumper – to open the third quarter and take a 52-26 lead. The Raiders opened their widest lead at that point – 34 points – when Sprinkel had one of her many lay-ups to make it 63-29.

Another Sprinkel lay-up expanded the lead to 35 at 71-36.

Freshman forward Morgan Nuckolls hit 2-of-3 free throws and Vega had a steal and a lay-up to cut the lead to 71-40, but Williams’ lay-up gave Reed a 73-40 lead at the end of the third quarter.

A Peacon jumper and an Abby Rankl bucket closed the gap to 27 at 75-48 with 2:55 to go, but that was as close as the Senators would get.

Rankl had nine points and Vega and freshman guard Gina Bianchi each had six for Carson, which also got some good tenacity from Burroughs.

“I thought Bianchi showed some competitive spirit, which is why she’s on the team,” Garcia said. “It’s something to grow on. Kaitlin Burroughs worked hard. She drained some open shots when she got going. We were trying to set her up for some open looks.”

Carson, which lost 57-35 to Galena in the regional semifinals, will now get ready to test the Lady Grizzlies once again. Their game begins Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“I don’t think you should pad your record,” Garcia said of his scheduling philosophy. “You need to play people who will be waiting for you at the end of the year. Obviously we have a ways to go against Reed. But I think it’s something we can do.”