McQueen overpowers Carson

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SPARKS -- Friday simply wasn't a good day for No. 1 seeds during the Northern 4A Regional basketball tournament -- unfortunately for the Carson High School boys.

The Senators were unable to escape a run of upsets on a day when four straight league champions in both the boys and girls tournaments fell to defeat, as the Senators saw their season end with a 57-42 defeat against McQueen before a crowd of nearly 3,000 in the regional semifinals at Spanish Springs High School.

McQueen makes its second straight appearance in the regional finals tonight at 7 p.m. against Hug, a 60-57 victor over High Desert League champion Reed in the other semifinal on Friday.

Jeff Rowe scored 16 points, handed out nine assists and figured prominently in a defensive scheme in which the athletic Lancers (22-8) smothered the Sierra League champion Senators (22-8).

McQueen surged to a 24-12 halftime lead and never allowed Carson to get any closer than that after the intermission. The defensive game plan was simple, according to coach Eric Swain.

"Their two -- Vince (Inglima) and Ryan (Buttner) -- are about as good as anybody else's two, so we wanted to find them and make somebody else beat us," Swain said. "Our goal coming in was to try and hold Vince under 15 and try to keep Buttner in check -- and Vince ended up with 14 and Buttner two.

"It was a team effort, too. We knew just one person couldn't do it so we tried to give them different looks throughout the game so they wouldn't get comfortable with any one defender."

The Senators never got untracked. Ryan Henry hit a 3-pointer off an assist from Adam McKenzie to cut McQueen's lead to 9-5, but the Lancers answered right back when J.J. Myatt took a pass from Rowe on the baseline and knocked down a jumper. On Carson's next possession, Inglima was whistled for a traveling violation as he tried to penetrate against the double team defense of Matt Hemsath and Myatt.

It was that kind of a night for the Senators.

Rowe, a 6-foot-5 senior who has signed to play quarterback at the University of Nevada, was a factor at both ends of the court.

"He's a 6-5 Division I athlete," Swain said of Rowe. " He's so multi-dimensional. I mean he can play the point, he can post up. We're just fortunate to have him."

Myatt aided the McQueen cause with 14 points and six rebounds.

Swain, who played alongside Carson coach Bruce Barnes at Carson in the early 1980s, was never able to completely relax even with a double digit lead.

"Bruce and I go back to high school playing. We played together at Carson Middle School," Swain said. "I knew they wouldn't quit. I knew they would fight right to the end."

Henry also scored eight points, while Andy Bohm contributed a pair of 3's to finished with six points, and McKenzie scored five.

"They played tough. They deserved to win," McKenzie said. "We have nothing to be ashamed of. We had a good year. I just wish it wasn't over."


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