Reno able to hold off Carson comeback
Defensive stand helps Reno boys hold off Carson comeback
RENO – With just over a minute remaining to play and the outcome of the game possibly hanging in the balance, the Reno High School boys basketball team came up with an all-important defensive stand Friday night.
Having staged a furious second half comeback, Carson was in position to pull to within two points, but they were unable to get off a good shot and the Reno Huskies held on for a 49-40 Sierra League victory at home against the Senators.
Even though Carson slipped to 2-3 in league (10-10 overall) with the loss, coach Bruce Barnes was far from disappointed with the team’s effort on the court after fighting back from a 25-14 halftime deficit.
“Not bad. We came out and competed in the second half,” Barnes said. “We fought back and made it a good game down the stretch.
By winning, Reno (4-1) remained in a three-way tie for first-place with Douglas and Hug in the league.
“Reno’s very talented. Talent-wise, they have the complete package as far as height, shooters and guard play,” Barnes said of the Huskies.
Reno coach Eric Swain, who played basketball with Barnes at Carson High in the early 1980s, paid back the complement.
“I knew we were going to be in for a tough game. Bruce does such a good job; we had a height advantage at every position, but to Carson’s credit, they competed all the way to the end.”
Reno led 41-34 after J.J. Mulligan converted a three-point play with 2:24 remaining, but the Senators were far from finished.
First, Jeffrey Hurzel drove for a layup, assisted by Adam Houghton. Then, after Houghton grabbed a rebound on the defensive end, Kyle Bacon drove for a layup to make it 42-38 with 1:28 showing on the clock. Swain called for a time-out, but the Huskies were called for a traveling violation on the inbounds pass – largely due to the defense of Carson’s Jason Alcasas.
The Senators worked the ball inside to Alcasas, but the 6-foot senior never got a shot out of his hands as he was tied up by Reno’s Terry Johnson.
“We knew they were going to try to get it in to Jason, but Terry did a good job on him all night,” Swain said of Johnson, who is the son of University of Nevada coach Trent Johnson. “He’s not flashy, but he’s 6-5, he’s athletic and he grew up around the game, so it’s tough for people to take him inside.”
Despite the tie-up, the possession arrow gave the Senators another chance, but they turned it over on a traveling violation. Reno then proceeded to put the game away as Chris Stanko knocked down four straight free throws in the final seconds.
Brian Welch scored 14 points to lead Carson offensively, including a pair of 3-pointers that helped keep the Senators within striking distance. His second 3 ball cut Reno’s lead to 38-33 with 3:17 left in the fourth quarter.
“We were giving up a lot of size, but I was glad to see our guys attack the basket and not be intimidated,” Barnes said. “They played good defense on us there at the end, and unfortunately, the ball didn’t fall for us.”
Scott Jeannes, a 6-foot-3 senior guard and third-year varsity veteran, led all scorers with 17 points, including four 3-pointers.
Carson returns home today to host arch rival Douglas in a league game scheduled for a 5 p.m. tipoff.