MINDEN - It may have been rivalry night when the Carson Senators boys basketball team faced off Tuesday with the Douglas Tigers, but when it was over it was one of those nights the Senators would probably rather forget.
After holding the mountainous Tigers - led by 6-foot-10 Keith Olson, 6-7 Jeff Nady and 6-8 Joe Nady - to a relative standstill in the first quarter, the Senators got blitzed and manhandled on the way to a 69-37 defeat at Douglas High School.
"That basket had a lid on it," said Carson coach Bruce Barnes, whose team fell to 2-2 in Sierra League play and 9-8 overall. "It was tough. We couldn't buy a jump shot or a free throw. That was as poor as shooting as I've seen. But they (the Tigers) force you to do that. They're big inside. You have to rely on your perimeter shooting and when they don't fall, it becomes an awful night."
The Senators never led, but they were in the mix when junior guard Will Holbert drained a 3-pointer to draw Carson to within 6-5, with 3 minutes, 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
Carson's Rob Valerius hit one of his two free throws to make it 8-6 and Douglas held only a 10-8 lead at the end of the quarter.
Olson scored only two of his game-high 11 points in the quarter and Carson's box-and-one defensive set was doing its job.
That all changed in the second quarter as Carson was outscored 17-5. Michael Gransbery scored a pair of threes and James Mclaughlin added a trey of his own as Douglas went into halftime with a 27-13 lead.
"We used a box-and-one and made them go out to the perimeter," said Barnes, "then McGlaughlin comes off the bench and hits the three. We couldn't match them shot for shot. I thought we were a bit tentative at first, then obviously we had a poor shooting night."
No such problem for Douglas, which got 10 points apiece from McGlaughlin, Gransbery, David Laird and Jeff Nady.
"I thought our kids came out and set the tone early," said Douglas coach Rob Streeter, whose Tigers improved to 3-1 in league, 12-6 overall. "This is always a big rivalry game. It's good that we got off to a good start. They were itching to get on the court."
Holbert led Carson with 10 points. Junior guard Caleb Carter added six points and supplied some alacrity off the bench.
"Actually, our energy off the bench was fine," Barnes said. " We just could not buy a shot. We started going to the basket and got to the free-throw line and we couldn't convert the free throw. It was just one of those nights."
Carson was 13-of-25 from the charity stripe. And it became one of those nights when Douglas outscored the Senators 28-10 in the third quarter.
The Tigers' lead grew to 34 points when Olson hit a pair of free throws for a 59-25 lead. At that point both teams played their reserves.
Carson forward Zach Weismann made his return following a two-game absence due to an illness, but played only sparingly in the first half ("He didn't have any energy," Barnes said).
Asked if he thought Carson had trouble against his telephone-pole tall team, Streeter nodded.
"Absolutely, but their speed presented a problem for us," he said. " Their quickness and tenacity - I have respect for Coach Barnes and how he gets them ready every year. They're always undersized. He finds a way to keep them competitive.
"Our kids played extremely hard. We had lots of deflections. In the first half we had six turnovers. That was definitely a concern coming off Friday's loss (to Reno). That's always a concern for us."
Of concern for Barnes is Carson's next opponent, North Valleys.
"North Valleys is one of those teams that we're going (to prepare for) differently," Barnes said. "They are two totally different teams. We're going to face one of the best shooters - one of the best players - in Northern Nevada (in guard Archie Kovich)."
At least the Senators will enjoy a home game after a brutal early schedule on the road.
"It's good to get home for a while," Barnes said. "We are coming off nine straight games on the road - four league and five non-league before that. It kind of wears on you, on the guys fighting sicknesses. I'm not making excuses. Douglas played well too. They were able to execute their game plan."
Carson will look to do the same on Friday. The Senators-Panthers game begins at 7 p.m. at Morse Burley Gym at Carson High School.