Carson boys look sharp
SPARKS-With the annual Capital Classic Tournament coming up next week in Morse Burley Gym, things seem to falling in place for the Carson High School boys basketball team at just the right time.
Both the Senators’ offense and power forward Lee Biddlecome had their best performances of the season on Thursday at the Nugget-Rail City Tournament, as Carson (6-5) routed Bishop (Calif.) Union 81-60 to take fifth place in the 16-team tournament.
The Senators’ 81 point outburst was its highest of the season. The team showed little sign of fatigue despite playing for the eighth time in 10 days.
“The team was really focused today; everyone seemed to be over their sicknesses,” said Carson coach Tom Andreasen.
The only Carson player experiencing a injury was Biddlecome, who played despite suffering a hip pointer in Wednesday’s win against Sparks. He scored a modest 13 points, but contributed in several other ways on the floor for Carson.
“Lee really showed why he’s a Division I player today,” said Andreasen of his 6-foot-9 forward, who’s headed to Bradley University next season. “He didn’t let the hip pointer bother him too much. He led the team in assists and defended Bishop’s best player; he did every little aspect of the game well, just as a Division I player must do.
“Right now, Lee’s reading the floor better than any player I’ve coached.”
Biddlecome wasn’t the only Senator turning in a good all-around game. Cody Longero had a game-high 21 points and six rebounds, Matt Leck scored 12 points and recorded eight rebounds, and Kevin Cote had 11 points to go along with eight rebounds.
Carson took an 11 point lead at halftime, 41-30, and put Bishop away with a 23-point fourth quarter.
After playing at home only once this season (a win against McQueen on Dec. 7), Carson returns home to face Spring Creek in the first round of the Capital Classic on Monday at 7:30 p.m. A win against the Spartans would advance the Senators into the semifinals on Tuesday (7:15 p.m.) against either Reed or John F. Kennedy of Sacramento, Calif.
Hiram Johnson 57, Douglas 53, OT
SPARKS – In their final tuneup before Northern 4A Division II play begins in January, the Tigers fell to Hiram Johnson out of Sacramento in the consolation game at the Rail City Classic on Thursday.
The Tigers trailed by 11 at halftime but put up a valiant fight in the second half. Douglas, which trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, chipped away at the lead to force the game into overtime.
The Tigers scored first in OT – their first lead since a 3-2 advantage one minute into the contest – but Hiram Johnson responded with a 6-0 run and then hit five of six free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the victory.
“I was very pleased with their effort,” Douglas coach Keith Lewis said. “I thought there were several times where we could have folded and cashed it in and started thinking about the Christmas vacation. And we didn’t do that. They showed a lot of heart tonight. They got back to being the group we had seen earlier in the season, in terms of just plugging away and coming back.”
Lewis put his team into a 2-3 zone late in the first quarter, but the defense didn’t really start to click until early in the third, when the Tigers forced five turnovers and went on a 13-2 run that brought them to within two points.
Seth Lee, who finished with 21 points, scored six points during the spurt. Mike Saylo added five of his 16 points during the run.
Kyle Baker scored nine points, including a putback and clutch free throw with 46 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game and send it into overtime.
“Obviously, that wasn’t the result we wanted,” Lewis said of the loss. “That’s a good team. They have some good athletes and we played with them. Moral victories don’t count, but I think the kids feel good about their effort and that’s important going into the break.”