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Carson boys give Miners a tussle

Darrell Moody

After three straight blowout wins in Sierra League play, somebody finally gave Bishop Manogue a real game. That somebody was Carson.

The Senators, led by Brian Barnes’ 23 points, gave Bishop Manogue all they wanted for 32 minutes before falling 61-50 Saturday night at Morse Burley Gym.

Manogue maintained its hold on first place with a 4-0 record, while Carson dropped to 3-1 entering its Tuesday game at Galena.

“I think we competed,” Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. “They busted their butts. We got beat by a better team. If we play like that all the time, win, lose or draw you can sleep at night,

“They have five guys that they can put on the floor that are good 3-point shooters. They look for penetration help on defense and then kick the ball back out. Bobby Hunter lit it up in the first half against us.”

Hunter drained four 3-pointers in the first half, including two in a row to start the second quarter to give the Miners a 23-16 lead. The only offense Carson had to that point was Brian Barnes who had five points and sophomore guard Andrew Johnson who had 11, including nine in the first quarter.

Manogue turned on the afterburners in the third quarter, outscoring Carson 15-5 in the first 41⁄2 minutes of the quarter to build a 45-27 lead. Ethan Dillard, Niles Lujan and Brennan Hogan all hit 3-pointers in the surge.

“I liked the third quarter,” Manogue coach Bill Ballinger. “I didn’t like anything until then.”

The only Carson player to score in that span was Brian Barnes, who led all scorers with 23 on 11-for-20 shooting. The Senator junior started 0-for-4.

If this was Barnes’ coming out game for the year, the Senators will be in good shape.

“Brian’s stroke has been there,” the elder Barnes said. “He had three or four go in and out. Tonight they happened to go in. He works on it everyday.”

Ballinger said the Miners’ strategy was to deny Barnes touches, but his players were unable to execute that strategy until about the last three minutes of the game.

“I told them that Brian was the kid we had to stop,” Ballinger said. “I knew the little guard (Johnson) wasn’t going to beat us with his shooting. Brian Barnes is a warrior.”

Barnes wasn’t through.

He led a 12-3 run at the outset of the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and two baskets as the Senators cut the lead to 50-43. A basket by Hogan and a free throw by Dillard boosted the Miners’ lead to 53-43. Barnes drained a 3-pointer to make it a seven-point game, but that’s as close as Carson would get.

Forced to foul down the stretch, the Senators could only watch helplessly as Hunter, who finished with 19 points, knocked down four straight free throws in the final 1:16.

“I told the team if we didn’t come to play we’d get our butts kicked,” Ballinger said. “That team did a good job. Our pressure didn’t bother them (as much as it did other opponents). They didn’t get flustered. That’s a good little team.”

FreshmEn win 2

The Senators improved to 4-0 in league and 10-1 overall with wins over Damonte Ranch (50-29) and Bishop Manogue (51-32).

Leading scorers in the Damonte game was Sage Smith with 16 points and Rafe King with 12 points. Leading scorers in Manogue game were Smith with 16 points and Zac Hudson with 11 points.

JV BOYS SPLIT

Carson fell for the first time in Sierra League play losing 58-47 to Bishop Manogue at Morse Burley Gym.

Ty Keefer led the offense with 16 points, Matt Nolan added 11, Carlos Carrillo 8 and Chance Quilling 6.

On Friday, Carson beat Damonte Ranch 53-33 behind 17 points by Keefer and 11 by Nolan.