Barnes, Carson break Minden jinx in 57-46 win over Douglas
MINDEN — Maybe Bruce Barnes and winning basketball games in Minden can be said in the same sentence after all.
Barnes’ teams had lost all four games they played in the Douglas High Gymnasium, including two to Douglas, before a 60-42 win over the Tigers in the 7th-8th place game of the 2nd annual Carson Valley Classic on Dec. 7.
Friday night, though, came the true test and Barnes and his Senators passed it easily. Celebrating his 18th birthday, Ed Jaquette scored 18 points and Ricky Correlli had 13 more as Carson stayed undefeated in the Sierra League with its 57-46 win over Douglas.
“I told Bruce afterwards I should have never invited him to our tournament,” Douglas coach Keith Lewis joked. “Now he’s getting comfortable. I don’t like that in my gym.”
Suddenly, Barnes has won two straight over the Tigers at their gym. Is the jinx over?
“Yeah, that’s gone,” Barnes said.
A sold out and raucous pro-Douglas crowd kept the Tigers in it for as long as they could. Douglas, which had lost its previous two league games by a combined 67 points, trailed only 10-9 after the first quarter.
“We knew if could come out early and kind of weather it, we’d be all right,” Barnes said. “We knew that at the beginning it would be all emotion and very little basketball.”
The two teams were a combined 8-of-28 from the field in the first quarter and turned the ball over 13 times. Things didn’t settle down too much in the second quarter, either. There were 26 fouls called in the second quarter. The Senators (10-6 overall, 3-0 league) were 10-of-18 from the free throw line in the second and Douglas was 6-of-11.
“I thought the game really hinged on them getting to the free throw line,” said Lewis, whose team was 9-of-16 from the foul line in the game while the Senators were 20-of-36. “They shoot the ball a lot better than we do. We just seem to have to work for everything we get. We didn’t play real smart in certain situations.”
The Tigers (4-13, 0-3) made only three field goals in the second quarter and started to witness Jaquette, the birthday boy, beginning to assert himself more. Jaquette scored seven points in the second quarter and his lay up as time expired in the first half put Carson up 28-21.
For Jaquette, Carson’s tallest player at 6-foot-3, this was his coming out party and his birthday party.
“I had a couple of bad games in a row. Coach talked to me and told me I had to step it up because we don’t have anyone who can bang with the big guys,” Jaquette said. “We love playing here with the crowd and the pressure. I figured it was my birthday, better have a good game today.”
The Tigers don’t have any big guys but that didn’t stop Jaquette from turning a relatively close game into a lopsided one in the third quarter. Douglas turned the ball over three times to start the second half and Jaquette scored nine more points in the third as the Senators built a double-digit lead. They led 43-32 after the third.
“I thought we played really hard in the first half. We just didn’t execute on offense,” Barnes said. “He (Jaquette) was due for a big game. He was focused coming into today.”
Correlli’s three-point play with 6:16 left in the game made it 49-35 and another Jaquette basket two minutes later capped off a 9-2 run that put the Senators up 53-37, their largest lead of the game before the Tigers mounted a small comeback. By then, though, the crowd had lost its energy.
“At Douglas, it’s big because it takes the crowd out of it,” Barnes said. “If you can take the crowd out of it, they can’t feed off of them.”
Douglas’ Nick Summers scored seven of his game-high 19 points in the final two minutes of the game. His 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining made it 54-44 and a pair of Summers’ free throws with 18 seconds left cut the Senators’ lead to eight, 54-46. It was too little, too late for the Tigers, though. Luke Rippee finished with eight points in the loss.
“I’m so proud of the effort but we’re a young team,” said Lewis, who returned only one starter and two others with any varsity experience from last year’s team. “Their spirits are kind of down but if we’re going to make our mark it’s going to start with effort. We’re going to be fine. We’ll see if can go up there and reverse the favor.”
Gary Borst was the only other Carson player in double figures with 10. The Senators are tied for first in the league standings with Reno, which beat South Tahoe 41-27 on Friday night in South Lake Tahoe.