Carson boys basketball opens with victory |

Carson boys basketball opens with victory

Joey Crandall
Nevada appeal news service
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal

MINDEN – After getting outscored 20-10 in the second quarter against Merced, Calif., Thursday night, the Carson High boys’ basketball team made a couple of minor adjustments at halftime and rode those to a 55-48 win in the Senators’ season opener at the Carson Valley Classic in Minden.

“That was a good win for us, especially for our first time out,” Carson coach Bruce Barnes said.

Carson stretched out a 10-point lead early in the fourth but Merced chipped away at it over the 3 minutes and 15 seconds, cutting the score to 51-48 with 1:30 remaining.

The Senators clamped down though, not allowing any more points through the remainder of the game to take the win.

“I think that was the key,” Barnes said. “Some guys down the stretch were able to do some things for us. They (Merced) turned up the heat on us a little bit with a full-court press, but we managed to navigate through that and we got those defensive rebounds to put the game away.”

Of particular note was Carson forward Caleb Carter, who aside from leading all scorers in the game with 23, came up with at least four defensive rebounds in the last two minutes.

“Caleb definitely got some points for us, but he did a heck of a job for us on the defensive boards,” Barnes said.

The Senators also got an outstanding effort on the post from David Eller, who had key steals or pass breakups on four consecutive trips down the court, all of which translated to points during a 15-0 run that put Carson up 48-38.

“That was probably David’s best game that he has had for us,” Barnes said. “He played confident today. He looked good in the post. He played with confidence on defense, he rebounded, he screened his guy out. It was just a good night for him.”

Merced built a 32-23 lead late in the first half fueled by eight points from Alan Huddleston and four from Kenneth Cooper.

A Brian Barnes 3-pointer with two seconds left in the first half cut the lead to 32-26 and the Senators changed things up a little in the locker room.

“We decided to go a little box-and-1 on their guy (Huddleston),” Barnes said. “He’s an awfully good player, we knew that coming in. He had 32 points the other night. He’s an all-league player and we just wanted to throw a wrinkle at them.

“We knew we weren’t going to stop him, but we were just trying to contain him and I think we were able to do that.”

Huddleston finished with 18 points.

Carter hit a 3-pointer to open the third quarter and cut the lead to 32-29 and then hit a pair of free throws to bring Carson within one.

Paul Cagle hit a pair of free throws a minute later to tie the score.

Merced regained the lead on a Ronnie Dunham 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Huddleston but Eller forced a turnover on Merced’s next possession, launching the 15-0 run that put the Senators up for good.

Matt Rutledge scored nine points for Carson, Barnes added eight, Eller had six, Cagle finished with five and Steven Fowzer and Markus Adams each had two in the game.

Carson takes on Faith Lutheran at 6 p.m. today in the second round of the Carson Valley Classic.