Carson High coach Bruce Barnes could be forgiven for looking ahead to a possible meeting with former teammate and rival Eric Swain in the finals of the Capital Classic.
But Barnes won't be caught looking ahead to that possible matchup. "Oh God, no," Barnes said. "We're trying to concentrate on playing one tomorrow."
The Capital Classic gets under way today and among the teams in the tournament is Central Section power Buchanan, who is now coached by Swain. The former McQueen and Reno High coach left to take over at Buchanan. Swain and Barnes were former teammates at Carson.
"He needed a tournament," Barnes said. "He actually had one spot available. It just worked out."
Central Valley of the Redding area in California will open the tournament at 3 p.m. when it plays Spanish Springs. Buchanan will play Spring Creek at 4:30, Dayton will face Reed at 6 and Carson will take on Sparks at 7:30.
The winners of the Carson-Sparks, Central Valley-Spanish Springs games will face each other while the winners of the Reed-Dayton, Buchanan-Central Valley games will play each other in the semifinals on Wednesday. The championship game will be held on Friday, with the possible Buchanan-Carson matchup looming.
While Barnes said he's not looking ahead to that possible matchup, he admits that his goal is to make the finals. "Our objective is basically to get to the finals," said Barnes, also saying that if his team plays like it's capable, it can make the finals.
Barnes also noted he doesn't know what to expect from Central Valley, which is in Carson's bracket, since that's the only team in the tournament he really doesn't know anything about. Barnes added he wanted to at least place Dayton and Spring Creek and Reed and Spanish Springs in different brackets since they'll see each other in league play.
Carson knows first hand how good Dayton is as the Dust Devils gave the Senators all they could handle before falling 67-57 at the Carson Valley Classic. Dayton will also receive another shot at Reed as it also gave the Raiders all they could handle before falling 70-62 at the Carson Valley Classic.
"They're no slouch," said Barnes about the Northern 3A school. "They can play with the 4A."
The Senators are 3-3 and are coming off an impressive win over South City of San Francisco in the Rail City Classic where the team went 2-1. "We left on a good note at Reed," Barnes said.
Barnes also said he also likes his team's work ethic. "I think they're all pushing each other in practice," he said.
He said in order for his team to play the up tempo style he wants, it will have to go eight or nine players deep.
Barnes said Buchanan is similar to his team in that it doesn't have much size. "They can shoot the ball well," Barnes said.
The Buchanan club also plays with the same type of intensity that has been a trademark of Swain's team, Barnes said. "They play extremely hard," he said.