Bruce Barnes rarely disrespects any opponent but he fully expected to beat 3A Spring Creek on Thursday night in the first round of the Capital Classic.
"I knew we were better than Spring Creek," said Barnes, whose team went 2-2 last week in the San Diego Classic. "I knew our pressure would get to them."
Ricky Correlli led three players in double figures with 15 points as the Senators won easily 79-54 at Morse Burley Gymnasium. And, yes, pressure, among other things, definitely got to the Spartans.
Spring Creek (1-7) turned the ball over more than 30 times against a smothering Carson defense, which led to a majority of its baskets throughout the game. The Spartans turned the ball over on their first five possessions and didn't even get their first shot off until the game was almost six minutes gone.
"I just wanted us to play with a lot of energy. We played extremely hard," Barnes said. "With the exception of one half against Mt. Miguel in San Diego we played hard down there. I knew our pressure would bother them. And to be frank, hopefully our pressure will bother everybody we play. We have to do something to make up for the lack of size."
It will be interesting to see how the Senators' press works tonight against Wooster in the semifinals. The Colts beat Sparks 66-47 in another first round game on Thursday. They are led by Julian Hatcher, who scored 36 points against the Railroaders and is an extremely quick point guard. He can probably beat the press on his own but he'll also have some players around to help in tonight's 7:15 p.m. game.
And despite Sierra League play beginning next week Barnes isn't going to offer a different look to the Colts.
"We're going to play to win, we're not going to do anything different," Barnes said. "Julian's going to cause us some problems, he's going to cause any team problems. We're just going to try to make somebody else beat us. They got a few big guys who are well-built football players."
That wasn't the situation against Spring Creek, which had minimal reserves and was behind the entire game. Carson (6-5) opened the game on a 13-0 run and always held a double-digit lead. Senior starters Ryan Henry and Ed Jaquette scored 13 and seven, respectively. Much of this game, however, was left for the bench players, who will surely be needed if Carson has any hopes of competing for the league championship.
Senior reserve Curtis Dixon scored 10 and Joey Callison led a five-man junior crew with nine. Junior Aaron Henry scored seven and Rory Wunsch and Jeff Hurzel both scored six points.
"We just don't have one go-to guy," Barnes said. "Ricky's being scoring a lot for us but most of his points are coming off of his energy. We're not really running anything special for him. We have a lot of guys who can score. When you get into conference, you're being scouted and if you have only one guy, you're going to have a big problem. This game allowed us to play a lot of guys."
The Senators led 43-25 at halftime and were up by as many as 28 in the second half. Spring Creek was led by Bennett Gackle, who scored 16, and Daniel Ruele, who added 14 more.