Barnes, Smith spark Carson boys to win
RENO – You could tell early that Brian Barnes and Pat Smith were going to have big games.
After Barnes hit two quick 3-pointers early in the game, he started to draw a little more attention from the Wooster defense. That left Smith open and he scored three straight field goals in a 54-second span.
Smith went on to finish with 17 points and Barnes added 12, all on 3-point field goals, to lead the Senators to an easy 59-42 Sierra League win Tuesday night at Craig Congdon Gymnasium.
The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Carson coach Bruce Barnes emptied his bench midway through the fourth quarter with a 23-point lead, and the Senators scored just four points in the final four minutes.
The win upped the Senators’ record to 2-0 heading into a difficult weekend with games at home against Damonte Ranch (Friday) and Bishop Manogue (Saturday).
“Overall I’m happy,” coach Barnes said. “We rebounded really well and our defense was good. Brian hit those 3s very early and that left Pat wide open.”
Thanks to Barnes and Smith it was a 17-12 game after one, but a 13-4 run to open the second quarter enabled the Senators to get the lead to 30-16 with 2 minutes 17 seconds left in the half. It was truly a team effort, as six different players scored in the aforementioned surge.
Smith, who didn’t miss a shot from the field all night, started the surge with two free throws. Neither team scored on their next two possessions, but sophomore guard Andrew Johnson (10 points) knocked down a 3-pointer and Matt Cooper followed in a missed shot to make it 24-12. Josh Peacock capped the mini 7-0 run with a free throw and a 25-12 advantage.
Field goals by Cody Griffith and Reece Hughes got the lead down to 25-16, but a soft bank shot by Chris Steele and another 3-pointer by Barnes, who had four of them, upped the lead to 30-16.
Consecutive three-point plays by Peacock and Smith made it 38-20 with 6:30 left in the third.
“That was huge,” the elder Barnes said. “It took the air out of their sails and gave us a little bit of confidence.”
“We talked about getting the first two baskets of the half and we give up six points,” said Wooster coach Casey McCann. “They (Carson) play hard. They are a good team defensively. I stress going hard and aggressive to the basket, and they did a good job taking a couple of charges.”
After Carson’s quick spurt to open the second half, the teams played even the rest of the period. However, another quick spurt, this time to start the fourth quarter put the game out of reach. A 3-pointer by Johnson, a free throw by Brennan Schaffer and a layup by Smith made it 53-30. Hughes scored for Wooster, but Smith came right back to keep it a 23-point game.
McCann said he was surprised at how well Smith played.
“He was a lot better than I thought going in,” McCann said. “He made a lot of buckets. We tried pressure and that didn’t go as planned.”