On Tuesday night, Fallon High boys basketball coach Corey Williams felt his team did all they could to stop Carson from shooting the ball. And he thought they did it well.
"We had a guy in their face, a hand in their face, and they still made shots," Williams said. "There's not a whole helluva lot else you can do."
Oddly enough, Senator coach Bruce Barnes thought his team didn't shoot the ball all that well. Either way, Carson picked put up its third win of the season, beating the Green Wave 59-57 at Carson High.
The Senators (3-0) shot 44 percent from the field, a respectable number. But obviously not one that Barnes expected.
"That was an off night for us," Barnes said about his team's outside shooting. "But when you have outside shooters like we have, that's what you do."
Carson was led by Ryan Buttner, who finished with 22 points, seven of them coming in the decisive fourth quarter. Vincent Reymus, who had 18 points in a 75-56 win over Elko last Friday, scored 12 against Fallon. He was 2-of-5 from behind the arc.
Fallon (3-2) led 49-47 after three quarters. But down 52-49 with 5:05 remaining in the game, the Green Wave looked like they took a major blow when Aarik Wilson, their star player, picked up his fourth foul. Most coaches would've taken Wilson out of the game but not Williams.
"I couldn't take him out," Williams said. "We need him in there. He just needs to learn that he can't use his athleticism on the defensive end as much when he's in foul trouble."
Williams made the right decision as Wilson went on to score six of his team-high 22 points after the foul. Wilson's lay up with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 55-55. But a Cody Longero basket followed by a Buttner jumper gave Carson a 59-55 lead. Derek Johnson's lay up with only seconds remaining finished the scoring at 59-57.
Longero, who finished with 14 points, knew the game would be tight.
"I kind of had a feeling that it would be close," Longero said about Fallon, whose only other loss was to Reno. "When you have great athletes like they do, we just knew they'd keep it close."
In the second quarter and leading 21-14, Carson, which led 18-14 after the first, looked like it might pull away. The Senators, which had six-point leads on five occasions in the second, watched Fallon drain a pair of 3-pointers, the first by Chris Warner, the other by Tony Guillen as the Green Wave trailed only 35-33 at half-time. In the second half, there were four lead changes and three ties.
"I always expect the games to be close," Barnes said. "Wilson's a very good athlete and he's capable of doing some things to keep his team in the game and we expected that."
On Thursday, Carson plays at Palo Verde High, the Senators first of three games in Las Vegas this weekend. On Friday, they play at Durango and on Saturday, at Cimarron-Memorial.