Carson boys take care of McQueen
Appeal Sports Writer
Sometimes acting a bit defensive can be a good thing. Such was the case Thursday when the Carson Senators forced 30 McQueen turnovers and ended up taking a 62-48 non-league victory over the Lancers at Morse Burley Gym.
Senior guard Caleb Carter led a balanced Carson attack with 17 points and the Lancers fell to 0-2 after falling apart in the first half, when they committed 20 turnovers and 13 fouls to fall behind 37-17.
“We were able to play a lot of guys out there tonight,” said Carson coach Bruce Barnes, who saw nine of his 12 players find their way onto the scoreboard. “We had a lot of energy on the defensive end. That’s what’s been winning basketball games for us. We held Fallon to 10 (first-half points) and Dayton to four.”
If there was a down side to the first half for Carson, which improved to 4-1, it was at the free-throw line, where it was only 7-of-17 after the Lancers hacked away early.
Be that as it may, the Senators took control early, taking a 12-0 lead behind a pair of 3-pointers by Carter and junior forward Paul Cagle, followed by a Carter layup, a pair of free throws by senior Rob Valerius and a layup by freshman Brian Barnes in the first 3 minutes, 50 seconds.
McQueen wasn’t able to get its first shot off until 4:33 of the quarter and finished the period 2-of-7 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe as Carson held a 13-6 edge in spite of going 4-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-6 from the line.
“We’re 4-1 now – we’ve got a long ways to go,” said Barnes, whose Senators went 24-of-49 from the field and 11-of-24 from the free-throw line. “In terms of effort – especially on defense – I couldn’t be happier. Offense always comes last.”
The Senators were able to run their lead to 34-15 after senior guard Markus Adams hit a pair of free throws following a layup by Barnes and a 16-foot jumper by junior Wade Smith.
An Uriel Duran layup and an Adams free throw gave the Senators a comfortable 37-17 lead at the half, which they were able to eventually turn into a 30-point lead (49-19) at 4:27 of the third quarter after senior David Eller’s layup followed four consecutive layups by Carter in a 64-second span.
“I was able to run the floor in half-court situations,” said Carter, who sharpened his shooting skills over the off-season at New Beginnings Church in Washoe Valley. “Teams know I’m a shooter. My teammates got me the ball and I put it in. My point guard (Matt Rutledge) kept his eyes up every time we got a turnover. I’d run over and he threw it to me.”
“He’s been shooting the ball well,” Barnes said of Carter. “If you leave him open, there’s a good chance that it will go in. He has a lot of confidence. He’s a shooter. He’s shooting the ball well and that in turn translates into confidence.”
McQueen’s Connor Brant – who was also its starting quarterback this season – led all Lancers with 18 points, including 13 in the third quarter.
After Mike LaGrone’s layup cut the lead to 49-21, Brant went off for three straight baskets for McQueen – including two 3-pointers – to draw the Lancers to within 51-29.
Barnes – who finished with 12 points – answered the barrage with his own three with 1:31 remaining in the third, but a Brant trey and his subsequent layup made it 54-34 at the end of three.
Freshman Rollins Stallworth added eight points and LaGrone six for McQueen. Eller had nine and Valerius six for Carson.
The Lancers outscored the Senators 14-8 in the fourth quarter, which saw four technical fouls – three by McQueen. Brant, LaGrone and Bobby Gubbels each had a T, while Rutledge picked up one for Carson. Brant and Lucas Boge fouled out for the Lancers and Eller fouled out for the Senators.
McQueen had 21 total fouls to Carson’s 16.
“I think that they (the Lancers) were just getting frustrated with what was going on,” Carter said. “Our guys were trying to keep cool. Matt (who shoved a McQueen player) kind of lost it for a minute.”
After a Valerius layup, McQueen went on a 8-0 run to draw within 13 points with 2:30 to go, but Carson was able to hang on.
“A couple things starting coming easy, but we got complacent with the basketball,” coach Barnes said. “We tried to make spectacular passes instead of easy, solid passes. We’re still working on our rotation. When Will (Holbert) comes back, it will give us a solid foundation on what we need to do.”
Holbert, who suffered a lateral compartment syndrome injury to his leg as a running back for the Senators football team and needed to undergo plastic surgery for a skin graft, is expected to return on Dec. 20, in time for the Carson City Lions Club Capital City Classic.
The Senators will open their Sierra League season on Tuesday, when they host the Reno Huskies at 7 p.m.