In years past, Carson Middle School's girls basketball program hasn't fared well in matchups against the Bay Area's Stanley Middle School.
Thanks to a fourth quarter comeback, the Solons reversed that trend on Sunday afternoon when they pulled out a 34-32 victory against the Stanley Wildcats from Lafayette, Calif., in the South Tahoe Optimist Tournament championship game in South Lake Tahoe.
"We've played Stanley two or three times in the last few years and we've lost every time," Carson coach Doug Whisler said. "A couple of years ago they came back and beat us in the last 10 seconds, so it was kind of sweet to beat them."
Stanley defeated Carson in the South Tahoe tournament finals in 2001 and again in 2003. Last year, Stanley beat Carson's eighth and seventh grade clubs in the tournament.
The current Carson eighth graders - 26-0 this season and 20-0 against seventh grade competition in 2004 - evened the score Sunday as they rallied from 10 points down to win the game. The Solons trailed by seven points at the end of three quarters.
One of the keys in the comeback was a swarming 1-3-1 halfcourt trap press, according to Whisler.
"Emily (Field) played in the middle and she really gave us a spark defensively," the coach said. "She had a lot of steals."
Danielle Peacon scored 18 points and helped control play underneath the glass for Carson. Gina Bianchi also scored nine points, Field two, Andrea Clutska two, Karly Dodge two and Tiandra Hudson one.
The tournament championship was Carson's fourth of the season - including Fallon, Colfax, Calif., and the Tah-Neva League tournament.
"These girls, over the season, every one of them has played some kind of a role in the season we've had, either in practice or in the game," Whisler said. "They always pushed each other hard in practice and I think that's what helped make them so successful during the season."