Galena outlasts Carson 52-44
By Joe Santoro
RENO — Carson Senators boys basketball coach Bruce Barnes isn’t going to put Friday night’s 52-44 loss to the Galena Grizzlies in a time capsule for future generations to study.
“It was an ugly, ugly game,” Barnes said. “There were too many fouls and we could never get in a rhythm offensively. Then down the stretch every time we tried to run a set, we’d turn the ball over. It was just ugly.”
Galena coach Tom Maurer, on the other hand, couldn’t have been happier.
“We’re 8-19 this year but we’re right in the thick of things in our league,” said Maurer, whose Grizzlies pulled into a tie with the Senators at 7-5 in the Sierra League. “We feel very fortunate to be where we are right now after the way we started the season.”
The Grizzlies were very fortunate to be where they were after the game considering the way they began the night. Carson looked like they were going to run the Grizzlies right out of their own gym, taking a 10-1 lead four minutes into the game.
“Yeah, we had it going pretty well,” Barnes said.
Patrick Smith scored six of the Senators’ first 10 points, all from right under the basket. He had a lay up off a feed from Paul Cagle to give Carson a 4-1 lead and he converted an easy basket after a pass from Brian Barnes for a 10-1 lead.
“We got the ball inside, we got some easy baskets,” Barnes said. “But it didn’t last. We’ve been harping on this all year, about how to play with a lead. It was obviously early but we started forcing shots and that hurt us.”
The Senators’ lead didn’t evaporate entirely until Alex Hansen scored in the lane for a 16-15 Galena lead with 3:21 to play in the second quarter. Cagle scored on a turn-around jumper in the lane to cut Galena’s lead to 18-17 at halftime.
“Paul (Cagle) and Brian (Barnes) didn’t play that well offensively in the first half for us,” Barnes said.
Brian Barnes was scoreless at the half and Cagle had three points.
“They were forcing shots too much,” Bruce Barnes said. “But in the second half they attacked the basket and did a nice job. I just told them at halftime, ‘Keep doing what we’ve done all year.’ They eventually picked it up.”
Galena took a 25-19 lead three minutes into the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Victor Walker. Brian Barnes, though, came to life with eight points in the third quarter, six from the free throw line. Cagle hit a 3-pointer to pull the Senators to within 28-26 and Barnes banked in a short jumper to tie the game at 30-30 with 1:49 to go in the third quarter.
The Senators, though, would never take the lead.
Walker scored twice inside early in the fourth quarter as Galena took a 38-31 lead with 5:45 to play. The senior finished with a game-high 24 points for the Grizzlies.
“During one timeout I just told (Walker), ‘You have to take over,'” Maurer said. “You’ve been with me for three years now. You have to be the coach out on the court.’
“Victor doesn’t have the confidence yet to know how good of a player he can be. He’s a college-type player. He just needs to go out and take over and that’s what he did.”
Walker scored in the lane for a 42-38 Galena lead with three minutes to play and buried a 3-pointer for a 45-38 lead with 2:13 to go.
“We knew all about him,” Barnes said. “We knew he’s the guy they like to go to. But he just had a great game. He made some big shots at some big times.”
The Senators, though, made the Grizzlies sweat a little. Barnes had a 3-pointer to cut Galena’s lead to 45-41 with 1:22 to go and Cagle scored inside after pulling down an offensive rebound off a Barnes miss to slice the deficit to 47-44 with a minute to go.
Barnes and Cagle each finished with a team-high 12 points. Smith finished with 10 points, Matt Rutledge had six and Kalvin Case had four. The Senators’ bench, though, failed to score a single point in the loss.
“We didn’t want Rutledge to bring the ball up the floor down the stretch and we forced them to use other guys,” said Maurer. “I just think we made them do some things that they don’t normally do.”
The Senators will wrap-up the regular season with games against Fallon and Douglas next week.
“If we take care of business we can still finish third in the league,” Barnes said.