Carson basketball rolls past Lowell
SPARKS – Senior Brian Welch is the most experienced player on Carson High’s basketball team, and he’s doing his utmost to lead the Senators on the floor.
Welch, who has been hampered by an ankle injury, scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Senators to an easy 55-38 win over Lowell of San Francisco in the first round of the Rail City Classic Wednesday night at Reed High.
The win sends the Senators, 3-4, into a tough winner’s bracket game against Bear Creek of Lodi tonight at 6 at Reed.
The game was Welch’s second one back since his injury. He scored 20 points in his first game back.
“Other than Kyle and me, a lot of the other guys haven’t had a lot of varsity experience,” Welch said. “I think so (team needs him to score) until other players start lighting it up. I think it’s a senior’s job to pick up the slack and do the job.”
Welch’s performance hasn’t surprised Carson coach Bruce Barnes.
“He’s a three-year varsity player, and he’s very confident in his ability,” Barnes said. “He plays like a three-year varsity player. He believes he can do anything on the floor. Sometimes it gets him in trouble. Other guys follow his lead, though.
“There were a lot of positives tonight. We’ve been working on things in practice, and we executed them. The defense did a pretty good job for the most part.”
Welch scored five of his 16 points in the third quarter when Carson started to pull away from the outmanned Lowell squad, which lacked the height and outside shooting to compete with the Senators.
Welch’s bucket with 5:06 left gave the Senators their biggest lead of the game at that point, 29-17, and a little less than three minutes later, he knocked down his second three-pointer of the game to make it 34-21. Carson finished the third quarter with a 38-24 lead, and Barnes attributed the bulge with a solid defensive effort.
“We started trapping them in the quarter and forcing them to make some passes they didn’t want to make,” Barnes said. “I think we got some steals and transition baskets. They are trying to do what we’re asking of them.”
A 14-6 run in the first six minutes of the final period extended the lead to 51-35. Welch scored both of his fourth-quarter baskets in that stretch. Seven different Carson players scored in that span, as Barnes used his bench liberally throughout the game.
Bacon finished with seven points and Steve Mandoki added six. John Gradert and Tilor Smith added five each.
While the Senators had an easy time against Lowell, Barnes knows tonight’s game will be physical. Senior Sean Hageman is 6-11 and junior David Nelson is 6-7, so Carson will have its hands full at both ends of the floor.
“I’m glad we get to see some big guys,” Barnes said. “It will help us prepare for Douglas and Reno. It gives us a good mix. This is going to be great figuratively speaking. We have played them before. They usually have a good football team. They will be a very physical team.”
And, no doubt Barnes won’t see the complacent side of his team that showed itself at times against Lowell.
“At times we looked like we were going through the motions,” Barnes admitted. “We still have to learn how to push ourselves, but that comes with experience.”
Notes: Jack Jacquet is expected to be out the next five or six weeks after breaking a finger in the Senators’ last game. Kevin Brush also will miss the next few weeks. Barnes said this has been the most injury prone team he’s seen in a long time… Jeremiah Teeter was suffering from the flu, so Barnes held him out of the game in the second half.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or 881-1281.