RENO - It wasn't the way Carson High wanted to end its regular season, but fortunately the Senators get a chance to redeem themselves on Monday.
Reno, thanks to the perimeter shooting of Austin Morgan and the inside shooting of Olek Czyz, pounded the Senators 66-42 Friday night in a Sierra League game.
The loss dropped the Senators into a tie for fourth place with North Valleys, a 97-63 winner over Damonte Ranch. Carson and NV split their regular-season meetings, thus forcing a one-game playoff Monday night at Damonte Ranch at 7 p.m. The winner earns the right to play at Galena on Wednesday night.
"I'm looking forward to the game," Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. 'If you want to go to the playoffs, you need to beat somebody to do it. We're lucky to have one more opportunity come our way.
"We're going to try and take the ball out of Archie's (Archie Kovich, NV's top scorer) hands a little more than we did the last time. We're going to try and make somebody else beat us."
Kovich scored 41 when North Valleys beat Carson last week, and he shot from all over the court. Barnes would like Kovich to have to beat the Senators from really long range if he's able to.
That's what Austin Morgan did to the Senators last night in the second quarter.
Reno led just 14-13 after one quarter when Czyz and Morgan got their inside-out game working to perfection.
Czyz, who was fouled hard by David Eller on the first play of the game and left the contest briefly, opened the quarter with a 3-pointer.
Carson turned the ball over on its next three possessions, and the Huskies capitalized each time.
Morgan, who finished with 23 points, knocked down two 3-pointers and then Czyz followed with a slam dunk for a 25-13 lead. Czyz was then hit with a technical for unsportsmanlike behavior.
Paul Cagle, who finished with a team-best 17 points and showed no fear in taking the ball to the rack, knocked in a free throw and then scored on a lay-up to slice the lead to 25-16.
Reno ended the half with a 13-5 run en route to a 38-21 lead, converting on a couple of turnovers by the Senators. The Huskies' press gave Carson problems throughout the game.
"When we broke the press (properly) we got easy shots," Barnes said. "That just didn't happen enough. We kept trying to throw the ball over the top of it. They are long, and we're not very big. We didn't use ball fakes.
"And then Morgan got going. Czyz gets his dunks, and I think that puts a little pop into their defense."
Six straight points, all by Will Holbert, made it 40-27 with 5:29 left in the third period. Reno bounced back with a 15-2 period-ending surge, which saw Carson go scoreless for the final 4 minutes 12 seconds of the period.
Morgan had eight of those points. He converted a steal into a lay-up, knocked down two free throws, scored again on a lay-up and then hit two free throws when Ellers was whistled for a technical foul. Czyz, who scored 18 points, had a 3-pointer in the barrage.
Besides Cagle's 17 points, Holbert finished with nine and Caleb Carter tallied six during fourth-quarter garbage time.