The Carson High girls basketball team had been in this situation numerous times this season and had sustained its share of close losses.
So one couldn’t blame Carson coach Doug Whisler when Douglas overcame an 11-point deficit to come back to tie the game 31-31 midway through the fourth quarter.
But this time the Senators responded.
Carson went on to beat Douglas, 42-36, on Tuesday at Morse Burley Gym. With the win, CHS forced a three-way tie for second place in the Sierra League as the Senators, Douglas and Damonte Ranch are all 3-2 in league play.
“I was a little worried,” Whisler said. “We’ve been in this situation before. I told them, ‘we’ve been in this situation before, how are you going to respond?’ They responded to the Douglas rally and took care of business.”
Douglas came back to tie the game 31-31 when Karris David scored on a putback. But Lily Bouza responded by scoring on a drive through the lane to give Carson a 33-31 lead.
CHS then broke the Tigers’ pressure when Bella Kordonowy sent a length-of-the-court inbounds pass to Bouza, who broke free for a layup to give the Senators a 35-31 lead.
Carson led 39-33 but Taylynn Kizer hit a three-pointer to pull Douglas within 39-36 with 23.5 seconds left. But Bouza broke free again and was fouled from behind. An intentional foul was called, giving Bouza two free throws and Carson the ball.
Bouza made 1-of-2 foul shots and then on the ensuing inbounds play, Trinity Beard scored on a pass from Bouza for the final margin.
“You use so much energy getting back into games like that,” Douglas coach Werner Christen said. “I thought when it was at 31, I thought it was anyone’s game but they executed down the stretch.”
Whisler was obviously a happy coach after the game.
“I’m very, very pleased. They executed the game plan, you can’t say perfectly, but as good as one can expect,” said Whisler about his team. “They were patient and they did things on their terms and we beat a very, very good Douglas team tonight.”
Carson jumped out to an 11-2 lead. Kordonowy scored seven of Carson’s first nine points, hitting two threes in the process. Kizer hit a three to help Douglas pull to within 11-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Abby Pradere, though, hit a three to give Carson a 20-9 lead late in the first half. Riley Mello hit a three for Douglas to cut the deficit to 20-12 at halftime.
Douglas continued to battle back when it went on a 9-1 run to begin the third quarter to pull within 21-18. The run was capped by Madi Smalley’s three. Carson went on to lead 26-22 after three quarters.
“Slow start and we couldn’t get over the hump,” Christen said. “Give them credit, too. They made it difficult for us. We rushed things. We’ll just try to move and get ready for the next one.
“We’ll see them in a couple more weeks. We’ll see what happens. We do have a lot of basketball, though, between this and that.”
Both teams struggled somewhat from the foul line and that ended up being the difference in the game. Carson was 13-of-27 from the foul line while Douglas was 8-of-16.
Kordonowy and Bouza each scored 11 points and Beard and Naycy Alvarez each added six points for Carson. Kizer had 14 points, including three threes, Smalley scored nine points and Megan Veil added six points for Douglas.
“They’re all getting better every single day,” said Whisler about his team. “We try to make practice harder than the game. We had a very good practice (Monday).”
CHS rolls past Wooster
The Carson High girls basketball team rolled to a 65-16 win at Wooster on Friday.
Bouza hit three three-pointers on her way to scoring 16 points and added six assists, Alvarez scored 20 points, Beard scored eight points, Camryn Quilling had seven points and seven steals, Pradere had seven steals, Bella Kordonowy had four steals and four assists, Camille Kordonowy scored six points on two three-pointers and Madison Rabideau added seven rebounds.
Sierra Lutheran wins
Sierra Lutheran improved to 2-2 in league play with a 31-12 win at Excel Christian on Tuesday. The Falcons allowed just two points in the first half as they led 19-2 at halftime and 25-8 after three quarters.
“Before the game all the girls set goals for themselves and the team, and we more than accomplished these goals,” Sierra Lutheran coach Danika Neal said. “I’m continually impressed with their teamwork and how they come together to compete.”
Freshman Ava Mellum scored 12 points, Amanda Almeida had seven points and sophomore Makayla Talkington added six points for the Falcons.