Carson boys stun McQueen in finals
Carson and McQueen finale
Even looking up at a 14-point deficit late in the first quarter, the Carson High School boys basketball team refused to give up on Wednesday night. Then, when some breaks went the wrong way at the end of regulation and in overtime, the Senators continued to fight.
And they fought all the way back to a 69-64 double overtime victory against McQueen to capture the championship of the 27th annual Capital Classic at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
Jason Alcasas and Rory Wunsch combined to score eight of Carson’s 10 points in the second overtime period as the Senators (8-7) won their own tournament for the first time since 1995.
“It was tough. It was nerve wracking,” said senior point guard Jeffrey Hurzel, who was named the tournament’s MVP afterward. “It was a good win for us because we had to fight to get there. We fought the whole game.”
The Senators came back a considerable distance because they trailed 13-1 midway through the first quarter and later trailed by scores of 18-4 and 36-23 against a sound McQueen (9-4) team that is expected to challenge for the High Desert League championship this season. It was a performance that left Carson coach Bruce Barnes smiling.
“That second half, the kids responded well,” Barnes said. “We got great leadership from our seniors and everyone just gave it all they had. It was a matter of them digging down and wanting it.”
The Senators led just once during regulation – 42-41 when Wunsch scored on a drive early in the fourth quarter – and managed to send the game to overtime thanks to Kyle Bacon’s 3-pointer with 1:28 showing on the clock. There was an opportunity to win at the end of regulation, but a shot by Alcasas glanced off the rim. Two other chances to win in the final 23 seconds of the first time died when the Senators turned the ball over, first on a bad pass that went out of bounds and then on a traveling call with five seconds to go.
“We had a chance to win it a couple of times and missed, but we had it in us to keep coming back,” Barnes said. “I think the kids showed a lot of character, and as a coach, that’s what you’re looking for.”
Carson never had to worry about coming back in the second overtime period. Wunsch knocked down a 3-pointer from the left side, assisted by Alcasas, to give the Senators a 62-59 lead. Moments later, Brian Welch pulled down a rebound on the defensive end and Alcasas drove down the floor for a layup, drawing a foul in the process. Alcasas knocked down the free throw to complete the three-point play and make it 65-59.
Jake Albin sank a pair of free throws and Dustin Rosness buried a 3-pointer to keep the Lancers within striking distance. Alcasas converted a pair of free throws to make it 69-64 with 26 seconds left and pretty much close the door on a win that improved Carson’s record to 2-0 in overtime games this season.
“This was a great win for us. I don’t think we could have asked for any more than this,” Alcasas said. “This is just our second overtime game, and it’s going to help us. When you play in games like this, you have to cherish every possession and make it count.”
Wunsch finished with a game-high 26 points, including three 3-pointers and 11-for-14 shooting from the free throw line. Alcasas had 16 points and Welch 13, including two 3-pointers in the first half. Adam Houghton contributed eight points, highlighted by two key layups in the fourth quarter, and Bacon finished with six.
Even though Hurzel didn’t score any points before he fouled out at the end of the second overtime, Barnes was quick to point out he deserved the MVP award.
“Without him, we don’t win that game,” the coach said. “He’s our quarterback out there. His contributions never show up in the scorebook, but he controls everything and settles everyone down out there.”
Among Hurzel’s contributions on the court were two key defensive rebounds at the end of regulation and in overtime. And on another play, he stripped the ball from hands of a McQueen player inside the key and Bacon recovered the loose ball for Carson when the score was tied 55-55 with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.
“We needed something like this going into league,” said Hurzel, referring to Carson’s Sierra League opener against Hug next Tuesday in Reno.
Rosness scored 17 points, including four treys, to lead McQueen offensively. Jake Albin also scored 15 points, five of which came in overtime.
ELKO 69, PARADISE 47
Elko raced to an 18-7 first quarter lead and never looked back to defeat Paradise, Calif., in the tournament’s third-place game.
Ryan Klekas scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers, Tyler Carroll added 18 and Kevin Sandall 11 for the Indians (9-3). Carroll scored nine points in the first quarter.
Michael Maehl scored 13 points and Brian Pirruccello 12 for the Paradise Bobcats.
Vallivue defeated Wooster 55-47 in the consolation finals and Central Valley defeated Spring Creek 68-30 in the seventh-place game.