Capital Classic to begin |

Capital Classic to begin

The Carson High boys basketball team has gotten off to a solid start to the season, but was expecting to find out a lot about itself this week.

Carson certainly found out quite a bit about itself in its Sierra League opener on Tuesday against Northern 4A power Reno High. The Senators played the Huskies on even terms for 28 minutes before Reno pulled away for a 60-45 win.

Now Carson hopes it continues to show improvement when it hosts its annual Carson Lions Capital Classic this week at Morse Burley Gym. The tournament begins today with Hug, Fallon, Spanish Springs and Lowry in one bracket and Carson, Fernley, McQueen and Central Valley of Redding, Calif., in the other bracket.

In today’s games, Hug will play Fallon at 3 p.m., Spanish Springs will play Lowry at 4:30, McQueen will play Central at 6 and Carson will play Fernley at 7:30. Games will also be held at the same times on Friday. On Saturday, action will begin at 10:15 a.m. with the championship game at 2:30 p.m.

“I think there a lot of unknowns about this tournament,” Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. “I think a couple of teams are still a mystery. There’s not one particular team you can say is going to be the favorite.”

Barnes said because there isn’t really one huge favorite in the event, that should make for an entertaining tournament with many competitive games. Barnes said Carson can’t look past Fernley, which held its own at the Carson Valley Classic.

If the Senators (4-2) beat Fernley, they will face the winner between McQueen and Central. Even though Carson has already beaten the Lancers, Barnes noted that McQueen has just recently added players from the football season and is still coming together. He also noted that Central is traditionally strong in its division and is an experienced team that returns many players from last year.

“Hug will be Hug,” said Barnes about the Hawks, who are traditionally one of the Northern 4A’s top teams. “Spanish Springs I think is playing very well.”

Among the highlights for Spanish Springs is winning the Vacaville (Calif.) Tournament title. Barnes also noted that Fallon gave one of the Northern 4A’s top teams, Manogue, all it could handle at the Carson Valley Classic.

“As long as we don’t look past anybody I think we’ll be fine,” Barnes said. “We’re playing pretty well right now. Everybody’s contributing right now. It’s going in the right direction.

“We’ve won the games that I expected to win and played pretty well up to this point. They’re working awfully hard in practice. Especially on the defensive end we’ve been playing pretty well so far. The offense still has got quite a way to go.”

Barnes said Matt Rutledge has played well at point guard. Carson has been led by Caleb Carter’s outside shooting and among its other weapons it can go to is Rob Valerius. Barnes also said players like Paul Cagle and David Eller have held their own inside. “Paul is just Paul,” Barnes said. “He’s going to find a way to score inside at 5-9.”

Carson should also receive a lift from the return of Will Holbert, who is expected to be cleared to play for the first time today. Holbert has been out with an injury sustained in football. “We’re not going to rush him back,” Barne said. “We’re going to play him sporadically.”