It wasn't a good shooting night for Carson, but the Senators found a way to win, beating North Valleys 64-55 Saturday at Morse Burley Gym.
Carson shot a poor 32 percent from the floor, while North Valleys hit at a torrid 55 percent clip, but the Panthers couldn't get enough shots up to make a difference.
The Senators put up 62 attempts to the Panthers 40. Free throws also played a factor as Carson, though only hitting 39.5 percent, made 19 to North Valleys nine.
Carson got out of the gate quickly, scoring the first eight points. Junior Paul Cagle, coming off the bench because of Senior Night, and senior Zach Rispin sparked Carson's offense with five points each in the first half as Carson built a 36-30 halftime lead.
Cagle, Rispin, David Eller and Caleb Carter got the Senators going in the third as Carson came out of the locker room hot, turning a 6-point lead into an 11-point lead. Rispin hit a long 3-pointer while Cagle got a couple of jumpers to fall. Eller was a force on the defensive boards, getting the quick outlets down the floor as Carson worked to break the Panthers man-to-man press.
North Valleys accurate shooting helped pull the Panthers to within five at 52-47 at the 4:55 mark, but their own foul trouble and Carson's timely foul shooting closed out the contest.
Eller hit two free throws in the waning minutes, while Cagle and Carter both connected on four of six to help Carson maintain control. North Valleys had two players foul out in the waning minutes as the Panthers tried to extend the game by fouling.
"This is great for our seniors", Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. "This is their night."
Even though senior Rob Valerius had one of his poorest nights shooting, going 1-for-7 from the floor and 0-for-6 at the charity stripe, Barnes had no complaints with his contribution.
"Rob just had one of those night. He's the kind of guy who can really help us with his defense and rebounding", Barnes said.
Cagle led the Senator scoring with 15 points.
"Paul's a 6-foot, 3-inch 5-9 guy," Barnes said, laughing. "He's stout and hard to get off the blocks. He has a knack for being around the basketball."
Rispin scored 12, Eller had 10, and Carter scored 9 points. Brian Barnes and Matt Rutledge added 6 each, while Valerius, Markus Adams, and Kalvin Case each scored 2 for the Senators.
Carson kept its slim playoffs hope alive, improving to 4-8 in league and 10-11 overall.
The Senators need to win their final two games and hope for a loss by Damonte Ranch. Carson plays South Tahoe on Tuesday and Wooster on Friday.
Note: The North Valleys bus was late getting to Carson High after a difficult passage through Washoe Valley