SPARKS - Vinnie Reymus scored 22 points and the Carson High School boys basketball team again used its fast-paced offense to run past Reed 73-41 in the fifth-place game of the Nugget/Rail City Classic on Saturday afternoon.
It was a typical performance for the Senators (11-3), who have now surpassed the 70-point mark in seven games and are averaging 69.14 points per game overall. But if you were to ask coach Bruce Barnes why he was smiling after Saturday's game at Reed High School, the reason would be defense.
"We shot the lights out, but I think more than the shots going in, we played great defense," Barnes said. "Most of those shots came on transition, so our defense led directly to all that offense."
Especially in the second half, when the Senators turned a 32-24 lead into a runaway. Carson outscored Reed 23-5 in the third quarter.
"I think the majority of our points in the second half came off of turnovers or forced shots or something where they were playing faster than they wanted to play," Barnes said. "They don't like to play real fast and I think our halfcourt trap made them play a little faster than they wanted to."
The pace was certainly slower than on Dec. 12 when the Senators strolled to a 48-33 victory at Reed. This time, they seemed to come out of the locker room at a full sprint after halftime.
Reymus nailed a jumper off an assist from Vince Inglima to start the third quarter. Then Cody Longero pulled down back-to-back rebounds on the defensive end, both of which led to Ryan Buttner jumpers. Jeff Young's interception resulted in an Adam McKenzie feed to Inglima for a layup that gave the Senators a 40-26 lead with 5:20 left in the third period.
A Reed time-out did nothing to slow the momentum because Buttner nailed back-to-back 3-pointers and McKenzie fed Reymus for another trey.
McKenzie finished with five assists and epitomized Carson's effort with one play at the outset of the fourth quarter. Reed's opening possession turned into a loose ball; McKenzie won a footrace to the ball at midcourt and then drove downcourt for a layup that gave the Senators a 57-29 lead.
"That's kind of the way Adam is," Barnes said of the junior guard. "Sometimes we have to slow him down because he's about as intense a player as we have. I mean he's always going 100 mph, which is good. It pays off and people feed off of that."
In addition to the game-high 22 points from Reymus, Buttner contributed 15 points and Longero 11 for the Senators. Reymus connected on four 3-pointers and Buttner three.
Reed (6-6) was led by Troy Monroe with nine points.
Reymus also earned a spot on the all-tournament team after scoring 70 points in four games.
"Vinnie played well all tournament," Barnes said of the 5-foot-8 senior guard. "A couple of people knew about him in the preseason, but the closer we get to league, the more people are becoming aware of him. He's a guy you can't leave open, that's for dang sure."
Overall, Barnes was pleased with the performance of the Senators, who play Spring Creek in the first-round of Carson's Capital Classic on Wednesday night.
"This was great; Reed's not a bad team, either," Barnes said. "We played well from one through 12 tonight and that's kind of what we've been waiting for. And once we got going, it started to get contagious."