SPARKS- So far this season, the Carson High boys basketball team has relied on its offense to win games. But on Tuesday against Reed, it was the Senator defense that lifted them to a 48-33 victory at Reed High.
Carson held the Raiders to only 35 percent shooting from the field and in the pivotal second quarter, it held Reed to only one field goal as they built a 14-point lead (26-12) by half-time.
The Senators, who had been averaging over 71 points per game, were held to their lowest scoring output of the season against Reed. Their previous low was in a 59-57 win over Fallon.
"They (Reed) play a lot slower than we'd like to play," said Carson coach Bruce Barnes. "I just tried to tell the players not to get frustrated because they play slow. I thought we did a good job of that."
The Senators never trailed in the game and were tied with Reed only twice, prior to the tip and when it was 2-2 early in the first quarter. Cody Longero scored six of his game-high 13 points in the opening quarter, as Carson (6-1) led 17-9. Longero finished with nine rebounds.
Then in the second quarter, the Senators shut down Reed (3-2) because of their zone defense. The Raiders were forced to take outside shots, which they struggled to hit, including a dismal 1-for-8 from behind the arc.
"Because of their zone, we were forced to take a lot of perimeter shots," said Reed coach Jerry Hogan. "We got some good looks early but weren't able to knock them down and that was the difference."
In the second half, Carson continued with the zone defense it used in the first half. The Senators switched from a 2-3 to a 3-2 and at times, a half-court trap. It just caused fits for the Raiders, who didn't have anybody to break the zone down with dribble penetration.
"We just couldn't get inside on their zone and attack the basket," Hogan said.
Carson built a 21-point lead midway through the fourth quarter before a flurry of Reed baskets made the game seem closer than it was. The Raiders outscored the Senators 8-2 over the final three minutes of the game.
Reed was led by Adam Hunter, who scored eight points and Carlos Madrid, who had six points, five of them coming during the Raiders game-ending run.
Carson's Ryan Buttner was held to only five points, all of them coming in the second half. He had been averaging nearly 13 points per game but Barnes, who mentioned that Buttner struggled over the weekend in Las Vegas, said that there's no reason for concern just yet.
"He's been in kind of a slump," Barnes said. "But shooters shoot their way out of slumps, so he'll be back."
Barnes was pleased that his team was able to pull out an easy victory, despite being unable to play their style of basketball.
"As long as we win, that's all that matters to me," Barnes said. "Reed scared me because of the way they play. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night."
Reed's 33 points were the least amount of points allowed by Carson this season.
Vincent Inglimas added seven points and seven rebounds for the Senators and Chandler Allen came off the bench to score six points.
Carson travels this weekend to play in the Amador Valley tournament in Pleasanton, Calif.