MINDEN -- Churchill County High School used a ball-hawking defense and ball control offense to outlast Carson 47-43 Friday afternoon at the Carson Valley Classic boys basketball tournament.
Even though Ricky Correlli scored 26 points for the Senators, the rest of the Senators only managed to score 17 and they only shot 33 percent as a team against the Greenwave (2-2) from Fallon. Give credit to an offense that made the Senators spend considerable time and energy trying to play defense.
"That's what they do. They're very patient and disciplined, they do a lot of screening and they try to get their shooters open," said Carson coach Bruce Barnes, whose club dropped to 0-2. "They made us chase them, so they did a good job in that sense."
Erick Weed scored 14 points and Walter Lewis scored 13 and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Greenwave.
"Our goal usually is, if we can't get something quick, then we're going to try and wear people down a little bit, and hopefully that paid off a little bit for us in the fourth quarter," Churchill County coach Corey Williams said.
Weed buried a rainbow 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Greenwave a 36-33 lead to start the fourth quarter. Correlli answered with a 3 off an assist from Gary Borst to tie the score and Edward Jaquette's free throw gave Carson a 37-36 lead.
Carson's hustling defense was never more evident than when Williams had to call successive time-outs to keep from turning the ball over over with 4:54 left.
"I think that was just because they're playing hard," Barnes said. The kids are giving us an effort, there's no doubt about that."
Churchill County still managed to knock down some big shots down the stretch. Sean Smith's free throw tied the score at 37, then Ryan Norby was fouled as he drove for a layup and added the free throw to put the Greenwave on top, 40-37. They never trailed again.
Correlli scored 17 points in the first half to help stake the Senators to a 27-25 lead at the intermission. The senior point guard scored Carson's first 12 points of the game.
"He's a spark, he plays hard and that's kind of his trademark," Barnes said of Correlli, who has scored 48 points in two games. "He's no surprise. He could have scored last year, but that wasn't his role. Now that he's a senior, his role is to score more and he's very capable of that.
"He causes problems for guys because he gets to the free throw line a lot and just because he breaks guys down off the dribble," Barnes added, pointing out that Correlli shot 9-for-13 from the free throw line.
Weed, a senior guard, scored 11 points in the first half and Lewis scored eight, all on layups set up by the Greenwave's offense.
"Erick and Walter have really been solid," Williams said. "I think Walter saved us a little bit in that first half; we were a little bit out of sync and if he doesn't hit some of those shots, the game might have been a different story.
"I thought tbe first half was a little bit ugly, but I'll take a win anytime," he added. "Carson can do that to you because they're hard to defend. They really make you collapse hard because every one of their kids can penetrate."
The Senators are now 0-2, with two losses that have been decided by a total of 13 points. Barnes isn't concerned about that at the moment, though.
"I told the guys, these games right now are just to make us better," Barnes said. "They're playing hard. We're just making some bad decisions down the stretch at crucial times and we're not hitting some big shots at crucial times, but those shots will go down because we're a pretty good shooting team. We're just not shooting the ball very well right now, so hopefully, that will turn around and we can get on the winning track."