Carson boys fall to Central Valley
The Carson High boys basketball team showed an ability to handle more than its share of adversity in the first half.
Problem was, the Senators had to be able to handle adversity in the second half as well. When the momentum swung back in favor of Central Valley of Shasta Lake, Calif., in the second half, this time Carson couldn’t respond and ended up losing 69-60 on Friday in the semifinals of the Carson City Host Lions Club Capital Classic at Morse Burley Gym.
Carson rode the hot shooting of Caleb Carter, who hit five three-pointers in the first half, and the rest of the Senators fed off of Carter as they built a 40-27 halftime lead. But the Senators went cold in the second half and the Falcons took advantage, outscoring Carson 42-20 in the final two quarters.
Central Valley advanced to today’s championship game against Spanish Springs, a 52-48 winner over Hug. The championship game will be at 2:45 p.m.
The Senators receive the game they were likely looking forward to in Hug, but in the third place contest, not the finals. Carson will play Hug at 1:15 p.m.
In today’s other games, Fernley, a 69-67 winner over McQueen, will play Fallon, a 60-42 winner of Lowry in the fifth place game at 11:45 a.m. McQueen and Lowry will play in the seventh place game at 10:15 a.m.
“We don’t have to do too much to get them ready for Hug,” Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. “We’ll be ready to play.”
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well,” said Barnes about the second half. “I thought we got some open looks.
“I just thought we didn’t make them. This team is still learning what do do when things aren’t going so well.”
It appeared that Carson figured that out in the first half when point guard Matt Rutledge had to sit out most of the half with two fouls. Rutledge sat out most of the game with foul trouble, fouling out with two minutes, 13 seconds left in the contest.
But Brian Barnes and Rob Valerius filled in admirably for Rutledge in the first half. Paul Cagle and Carter hit three-pointers to give Carson a 10-6 lead in the first quarter. But without Rutledge, the Falcons went on to take a 19-14 lead early in the second quarter.
But Carson took control for the rest of the half, beginning with Carter’s three that cut the deficit to 19-17. Cagle scored on a pass from Kalvin Case to tie the score 19-19. After Cody Sterling drained a three to give Central Valley a 22-19 lead, Carter responded with a trey to tie the score 22-22.
Wade Smith stripped the ball away from Central Valley’s 6-6 Dylan Griffin and Cagle picked up the loose ball to score to give Carson a 24-23 lead. Carter followed by hitting two threes to give Carson a 33-25 lead.
Carson then got what amounted to be a three-point play when Valerius scored and was fouled. A technical foul was also called on Central Valley on the play. Valerius hit the free throw and then Barnes hit the two technical to make it 38-25. Barnes hit a jumper to beat the buzzer to give the Senators a 40-27 lead.
“Carter shot the ball pretty well and that got everybody else feeding (off of that) in the first half,” coach Barnes said. “I thought we were in good shape.”
But the Falcons outscored Carson 22-8 in the third quarter to take a 49-48 lead. After Central Valley pulled to within 42-38, Cagle scored on a pass from Will Holbert to make it 44-38. Carter followed his own miss to give Carson a 48-46 lead, but Sterling hit a three at the end of the quarter to give the Falcons a 49-48 advantage.
Carter gave Carson its last lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter on a baseline drive to make it 50-49.
Thanks in large part to the 5-9 Cagle’s defense with some help from his friends, Griffin was held to nine points, with three of those points coming on free throws after the issue was effectively decided. But Griffin’s last field goal did give Central Valley a 55-52 lead.
Valerius hit two free throws to pull Carson to within 57-54, but the Falcons went on to put the game away from the foul line. Zach Rispin scored on drive for Carson for the final margin.
“I thought we did a great job on the big guy,” said coach Barnes about Griffin. But Sterling, Luke Cassidy and Paola Mancasola more than picked up the slack.
Mancasola scored 16 points, Cassidy had 12 points and Sterling scored 10 points. Carter scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half. Valerius scored 15 points and Cagle added 13 points.