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Senators pull out OT win

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaapeal.com

Carson High got help from the expected and unexpected in getting its first Sierra League win of the season Tuesday night.

The expected help came from Brian Barnes (14) and Chris Steele (18), the team’s top two scorers, who combined for 32 points.

The unexpected help came from sophomore Matt Nolan who contributed 13 points, including five in overtime, to help the Senators wipe out a 12-point third-quarter lead and beat Damonte Ranch 73-71.

The win evened Carson’s league record at 1-1 entering Thursday’s 7 p.m. game at Reno. The Senators are now 2-3 overall. Damonte is 1-2 in league play.

“We kept clawing away at them,” Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. “We started playing faster and we got a couple of offensive rebounds of our own. We knew coming in that Matt Nuthall was going to get his. We were worried about them on the glass (Lane Armstrong and Jeff Turk). We saw what they did at our tournament.

“Guys like Tyler Collins stepped up some crucial rebounds. We’ve got to get better at the foul line, though. This might be the game to get us over the hump and get us feeling different about the game.”

As you might expect in an overtime game, this one came down to the wire. The teams were tied at 63 after four hard-fought periods.

Nuthall, who led all scorers with 30 points, drained a 3-pointer to start the overtime and Nolan came back with a two-pointer. John Carlson’s driving layup gave Damonte a 68-65 lead, but Nolan re-tied the game with a 3-pointer.

“He’s not having to play the point as much,” Barnes said. “We’re using him more on the wing to take advantage of his athleticism. He’s more comfortable out there. It’s tough to ask a sophomore to come in and play point guard.”

Jeff Turk gave Damonte a 70-68 lead with 2:32 left, but Steele re-tied the game with a basket. He had a chance to put Carson ahead, but failed to convert the three-point play. After a Damonte turnover, Barnes scored in the lane to make it 72-70 with 1:54 left. Nuthall got the Mustangs to within 72-71 with a free throw, but those would be Damonte’s final points.

Damonte had a three-shot possession but couldn’t score. Carson’s Collins had an opportunity to extend the lead to three, but missed both foul shots. Steele got the offensive rebound after the second miss, but couldn’t stick in the putback attempt. Damonte gained possession, but Nuthall missed on a drive to the basket and Steele made a free throw with 15.2 left for a 73-71 lead.

Damonte had one last opportunity. After a timeout, Nuthall threw up a 3-pointer under heavy pressure but came up short. There appeared to be contact on the play, but no call was made.

“It’s what we drew up,” Damonte coach Torrey Sheets said. “It was probably a little deeper than we would have liked, but Matt has that kind of range.

“It seemed like we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. It was a back and forth game. Unfortunately we’ve lost two overtime games.”

The Carson comeback actually started late in the third quarter, as a putback by Armstrong (21 points) gave Damonte a 51-39 lead. Two baskets by Carlos Cavillo, a basket and 3-pointer by Nolan and a putback by Steele trimmed the deficit to 55-50 after three.

Two free throws by Collins and a bucket by Nolan tied the game at 61. Armstrong gave Damonte a 63-61 lead with 12.1 left in regulation, and Trey Jensen drained two free throws, tying the game at 63 and sending it into overtime.