Carson boys knock off Fernley
Appeal Sports Writer
Against the Fernley Vaqueros the Carson Senators got into the holiday spirit a bit early Thursday, playing at the same time the roles of the Grinch and St. Nick.
When they weren’t busy stealing the ball from the Vaqueros and forcing 27 turnovers, they were in the giving mood with each other, with 12 of its 13 players getting on the scoreboard.
The result was an 87-32 victory on the first day of the Carson City Host Lions Club Capital Classic at Morse Burley Gym.
Freshman Brian Barnes led his team with 14 points, while senior guard Caleb Carter added 13 and junior guard Kalvin Case contributed 10 for the Senators, who improved to 5-2 on the season.
“We came out slow at first, but we played good defense and kicked it up after a while,” Barnes said. “We were a little bit more talented than they were and we were able to pull away.”
Carson forced the Class 3A Vaqueros, who fell to 3-6, into 10 first-quarter turnovers and took a 9-2 lead when Paul Cagle found Matt Rutledge for a 3-pointer with 5 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
In spite of facing the trapping defense of Carson, the Vaqueros hung tough early, and behind a pair of baskets by Jace Gledhill and a layup by Joe Crabtree, were able to close the gap to one at 9-8.
Barnes nailed one of his three 3-pointers to give Carson a four-point cushion and the closest Fernley would get from there would be six, with Carson taking a 17-11 lead into the second quarter.
Carter led the Senators with 10 first-half points, followed by Barnes with eight, as the Senators outscored the Vaqueros 27-9 in the second quarter to take a 44-20 lead into the half.
“We tried to come out and pressure them a little – create some chaos and get some easy baskets,” Barnes said. “We pushed the tempo. It worked to our advantage.”
Barnes said he’s beginning to get used to playing at the varsity level after a bit of an adjustment period.
Carson Coach Bruce Barnes said his son is getting a lot of help in his journey from the rest of his teammates.
“The kids around him have experience and they’ve been great with him,” coach Barnes said. “He’s a good perimeter shooter. He’ll be good when his time comes. For now he’s a role player and lets the experienced players lead.
“He also puts a lot of time on the basketball floor. He’s got more than 200 games, including AAU, under his belt.”
The Senators played two solid halves, giving up only a combined four turnovers – two each in the first and fourth quarters – while outscoring Fernley 17-6 in the third period and 26-6 in the fourth.
The Senators bench, including Barnes and Case, scored 60 points. Steve Fowzer had nine points, Zach Rispin eight, Uriel Duran six, Wade Smith and Markus Adams four.
Carson received another gift when senior Will Holbert made his first appearance of the season, scoring six points after coming back from lower extremity lateral compartment syndrome, an injury he suffered as a member of the Carson football team.
“It makes me feel good. All week the kids worked extremely hard in practice,” coach Barnes said of his bench. “It pays off when they have a chance to contribute. It gives them a little bit of confidence now. Everybody did a good job off the bench. I have no complaints.”
Gledhill led all Fernley scorers with 10 points, followed by Bruce Baker with nine.
The Senators were 36-of-75 from the floor, the Vaqueros 15-of-39.
Barnes singled out two of his players – senior Rob Valerius and junior point guard Rutledge – for doing the kind of work that gets lost in the stat box. Valerius (two points) is averaging eight rebounds and Rutledge, who scored six points, is averaging seven assists per game.
“Some things go unnoticed – Valerius rebounds on the defensive side very well and leads the team rebounding,” Barnes said. “Without someone willing to do that, we wouldn’t have the record we do now.
“Rob and Matt are two experienced players who are leading us like we need to be led. What they do sometimes goes unnoticed, but it doesn’t go unnoticed from a coaching standpoint.”
Carson will face Central Valley (Shasta Lake, Calif.) in the tonight’s semifinals beginning at 7:30. The Falcons, who finished second in the Northern Athletic League last year, improved to 8-2 with a 69-55 win over McQueen.
“We will obviously have a very tough night,” coach Barnes said. “Central Valley is very talented. They have solid guards and solid posts. They have a 6-6 transfer (Dylan Griffin). They are a team that will challenge us.
“It will be good for us. We need to play teams that challenge us. That’s what the preseason is about. (In league play) we’ll be facing good teams night in and night out.”
In other action, Hug beat Fallon 49-29 and Spanish Springs defeated 3A Lowry 55-36.
In today’s quarters, McQueen faces Fernley at 3 p.m., Lowry and Fallon play at 4:30 and Hug and Spanish Springs play at 6.