One thing is certain, the 2011-2012 girls' basketball season is starting much too quickly for Carson High coach Todd Ackerman.
With approximately just two weeks of practice under their collective belts, the Senators, who went 15-12 last season and reached the playoffs, open 4A play at 6 p.m. tonight when perennial powerhouse Reno visits Morse Burley Gym.
Under the emergency two-year realignment that started last year, all games against High Desert teams count in the league record instead of just the overall record.
Ackerman said that most 4A coaches don't mind the crossover games, but none of the coaches think they should count. It's not certain how this situation will be handled in the 2012-2013 season.
Ackerman enters the season with just a 10-player roster, the smallest in his stint as the varsity coach.
Six - Kaitlyn Holmes (0.8 points per game), Maddi Saarem (1.2), Eliza Matley (7.4), Tiana McAllister-Daggs (3.1), Emily Collins (3.1) and Savannah Smith (2.3) - return from last season.
Matley is the top returning scorer. She shot 34 percent as both a starter and reserve. She figures to be a full-time starter this year, and showed last year aggressiveness getting to the basket. Matley is the team's top 3-point shooter with 10 last year. Smith and Collins had six and five, respectively. Collins and Smith will share the point guard spot.
Cameron Seibers, Megan Barrett, Elena Thurman and Paige Robinson are the new varsity members.
"We have seven solid kids and three that we'll bring along slowly and play in certain situations so they can have success," Ackerman said. "Losing Loni (Karosich, moved to Florida) and Mary Longero not coming out hurt. We lost two girls with experience."
As it stands now, the six returners will be carrying the load at least for a while, according to Ackerman.
The biggest concern for Ackerman is a lack of height. McAllister-Daggs is the tallest player at 5-10. She averaged 4.4 rebounds per game.
"We're not tall and that part is always a concern," Ackerman said.
The lack of height means one thing - a lot of up-tempo play. It's the only way smaller teams can survive is to get up and down the floor.
"We are going to press," Ackerman said. "We pressed a little this summer, and the girls seemed to like it. I asked them how they wanted to play. I gave the girls a choice so that's what we're going to do. We did some nice things in the scrimmage (on Saturday)."
DAYTON (6-19, 0-10)
Second-year coach Cliff Serawop, whose team visits Incline at 6 p.m. tonight in its season-opener, returns nine players from what was a young team a year ago.
The Dust Devils have to find a way to score the ball this year. A year ago, Dayton averaged just 26 pints a contest while giving up 41.
"They are very aggressive and looking to score," Serawop said.
The leading returning scorers are forward Taylor Hill, who averaged 6 points a game last season. Taylor was the Dust Devils' top 3-point shooter last year with 10. The Dust Devils' No. 2 scorer from last year, Maribel Ledezma (5.2 per game) also returns.
Destinee Serawop (3.4), Andrea Ramirez (3.4), Devlyn Lahair (2.1), D.J. Ply (1.0), Gemma Ramirez (1.2) and Leighton Williams also are back.
Dayton's top new player is sophomore Cora Mebius.
"Cora runs the court well," Serawop said. "She will fight for rebounds and is not afraid to guard anybody."
Key losses from last year's team are Amber Brooks and Erin Edison. The latter recently finished volleyball but has opted not to play basketball. The 6-foot-1 Edison averaged 4.6 points per game.