Elko wins Capital Classic, 65-57 over Carson

Prior to Friday night's championship game between Carson and Elko in the 24th annual Capital Classic, the Senators were warming up to the sounds of Limp Bizkit, Outkast, and other music most adults can't bare to listen to.

Carson coach Bruce Barnes said that if his team came out flat against Elko, like they did on Thursday against Centennial in the semifinals, he wouldn't let them play that warm-up tape again.

And it looks like the Senators will need to find a new one.

Carson committed seven turnovers on its first nine possessions of the game, which set the tone throughout, as the Indians pulled out a 65-57 win over Carson.

"For whatever reason, we just didn't take care of the ball tonight," Barnes said. "More than anything else, it was the turnovers that hurt us. Some guys on the team haven't been in big game situations before, so it was a good learning experience for them."

The Senators, who beat Elko 75-56 earlier this season, haven't won their own tournament since 1995. Last season, Carson finished in third place after bowing out in the semifinals to Kennedy, which finished third this year after its 68-58 win over Centennial on Friday.

The Indians (13-3) came into Friday's championship game as one of Nevada's most improved teams, winning 12 of their past 13 games after starting the season 0-2. With Friday's win, they leave Carson City as a team that should contend for a High Desert League playoff berth.

"They're playing as good as anyone in Northern Nevada," Barnes said.

Much of Elko's success has been because of Dusty Inman, a football player who's now back into basketball shape. Inman went off for 29 points against Carson, including three timely 3-pointers late in the game just when the Senators were threatening to take control of the game.

Carson took a 47-42 lead, its biggest of the game, after a Vinnie Reymus basket with seven minutes left in the game. Then Inman and teammate Matt Alleman took over.

Alleman's lay up with 5:18 left tied the game at 49-49 and then Inman's 3-pointer a minute later put Elko back on top 52-51. The Indians then went on a 8-2 run to put the game away. The duo scored 21 of Elko's 23 fourth-quarter points.

Alleman, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished with 22 points. Inman was voted the tourney's most valuable player after averaging 23 points in Elko's three tournament games.

"Dusty is just a great competitor. He started out slow tonight but he picked it up," said Elko coach Chris Klekas. "This was a great test for us, we've improved a lot since December 1."

Carson's Cody Longero, who scored a career-high 34 points on Thursday against the Bulldogs, was able to score 24 against Elko. But Klekas put twin brothers Jeff and Pete Cavender, a pair of hefty 6-3 bodies, on Longero. The scheme seemed to work as Longero wasn't able to get into a groove offensively and Alleman stayed out of foul trouble.

"They did a great job on me," Longero said about the Cavender twins. "Their whole team did a great job defensively. They didn't give us any room. They were much better defensively than the first time we played them.

"This was a humbling loss. I was really hoping, as all of us seniors were, that we'd be able to win this thing. It's discouraging."

Longero was also named to the all-tournament team after averaging 27 points. Reymus, who scored 13 points against Elko, was also named to the all-tournament team.

Carson (13-4) doesn't play again until next Friday, when it opens Sierra League play against Hug in Reno.


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