Senators’ run ends with trouncing at hands of Raiders
SPARKS – Joanna Phillips wasn’t even on Carson’s radar as the Senators prepared for their opening-round Northern 4A regional playoff game against Reed.
The Senators certainly know who she is now.
Phillips went 7-for-10 from the field against Carson’s 3-2 zone defense and scored 20 of her game-high 23 points in the first half to lead the Raiders to an easy 74-39 win over Carson on Wednesday night.
Carson finished the season 17-11, while Reed improved to 19-7.
“No, we didn’t spend much time (on Phillips),” Carson coach Todd Ackerman said. “There was confusion as to who was supposed to be out on her. The credit goes to her, she made the shots. I didn’t think anybody they had would shoot it that well.
“We spent a lot of time on Danielle (Peacon) because everything goes through her. We played a 3-2 so we could pack the inside. If Danielle was going to go down low, we could always get two people down there on her.”
Peacon did score 18, eight of those coming in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach.
Unofficially, Reed shot 54 percent from the floor, and the defense held Carson to single-digit scoring in each of the last three quarters.
“I honestly think that was the best basketball game we’ve played all year,” Reed coach Sara Schopper said. “We didn’t have any defensive letdowns and we didn’t have any offensive droughts. That’s what I’ve been waiting for all season.
“I’ve been waiting for that the last three or four games we’ve seen a zone. Tonight we shot those shots and then you have to defend against that. That opens the floor for Danielle. And when we put Danielle on the same side of the floor (as Phillips), you have to choose. I’ve been waiting all year for Joanna to do that. She wasn’t thinking about shooting, she just let it (the game) come to her.”
Peacon missed the final five minutes of the first quarter after picking up two quick fouls, and her absence enabled Carson to stay within striking
distance at 20-14 thanks to six first-quarter points by Gina Bianchi, who finished with a team-high 18.
After senior Yvonne Hollett hit her only 3-pointer of the game to make it 22-17 with 6 minutes, 9 seconds left in the half, the Raiders went on a 17-5 tear to take a 39-22 lead into the locker room, and Phillips and Peacon were right in the middle of it.
Phillips hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to make it 28-17. After a Carson miss, Peacon came down and scored on a layup. Phillips added another 3-pointer for a 33-17 lead.
Hollett ended the mini drought with 2:58 left, but Phillips bombed in another 3-pointer and Peacon scored from close range for a 38-19 lead with 2:26 left.
Bianchi dropped in her first 3-pointer of the night and Sierra Hooft ended the half with a free throw, extending Reed’s lead to 17.
Bianchi caught fire in the third quarter, scoring nine points in the first 4-plus minutes to make it a 46-31 game, but Reed finished the third quarter with an 11-0 run and a 57-31 lead as Hooft keyed the surge with seven of her 14 points.
Carson went 0-for-4 and turned the ball over three times in that span.
Schopper thought her defense was outstanding, limiting Carson to 32 percent from the floor and forcing 18 turnovers.
“I thought our defense was the key,” Schopper said. “Nese Jackson set the tempo for us on defense, running down people from behind and getting tips. We got to loose balls. When we got tired, I put subs in. They knew what they were doing and came in with the same intensity.”
Peacon scored four buckets in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the final quarter which helped spike the lead to 34 with 4:17 left. Carson’s young post
players were no match for her.
“I look at our size and I look at their size and we were outmanned from the start,” Ackerman said. “We’re so young in the post experience-wise that she (Peacon) beat up on our young ones.
“I’m happy with the season. With what we lost (seven seniors) and being able to get those (17) wins and not knowing how many we’d get. If somebody had told me we’d win 17 games, I would have been surprised. They battled and played hard (all year).”
NOTES: This is Reed’s seventh straight trip to the semifinals … Hollett and Elayna Shine scored seven points apiece for Carson.