Carson picks up 73-64 win over North Valleys
RENO — Sandwiched between a big win over South Tahoe last week and a game against its rival Douglas on Friday, Carson’s game with North Valleys on Tuesday could’ve been a trap. That’s where Bruce Barnes comes in.
“I’ve told the guys all year that we’re not good enough to overlook anybody. I don’t know if I can beat it into their heads anymore.”
A few more times wouldn’t hurt.
The Panthers, who lost to Hug 70-43 last Friday night, hung around most of the game but the Senators finally put them away in a 73-64 win at North Valleys High.
“That’s our hope,” Barnes said. “Play hard for 32 minutes and then wear them down in the fourth. I think all 12 guys played again. The bench gave us quality minutes again.”
Four Carson players scored in double figures, led by Ricky Correlli’s 19 points. Ryan Henry and Ed Jaquette both finished with 11 and Gary Borst had 10 more in the nine-point win over the second-year school. Understanding scores can be deceiving, Barnes knew going into the game that the Panthers (7-9 overall, 0-2 league) were dangerous despite the lopsided loss to the Hawks.
“I knew they shot the ball well because I’ve seen them a couple of times,” Barnes said. “Against Hug, they shot the ball terrible and I’ve seen them do that, too.”
Outside shooting kept North Valleys in it the entire game. Aaron Allen led all scorers with 27 points, nine of which came off three 3-pointers. Tim Wholey also was hot from outside, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and finishing with 12 points. The third player the Panthers usually relies on is Scott Cousins, but he had an off night as he only ended up with seven points.
“Fortunately Cousins didn’t shoot the ball that well because he normally does,” Barnes said. “I think they played us good defensively. They really spread us out.”
Curtis Dixon scored seven of his nine points in the midst of a 10-0 first-quarter run that gave the Senators a 17-7 lead. Carson (9-6, 2-0) led the entire game and never strayed too far from that 10-point lead. It even needed that cushion in the third quarter. Cousins’ basket with 5:56 remaining put the Panthers within three points, 39-36. After a pair of Dixon free throws, Jaquette scored three consecutive baskets as Carson led 47-39.
That little spurt was decisive as the Senators led by eight, 52-44, going into the fourth quarter. That’s when the depth of Carson seemed to wear down North Valleys. The Panthers still hit their shots, of course, going 7-of-14 from the field and Allen scored 10 of his points in the fourth. But Carson made seven of its first 11 shots of the quarter to go up 64-51 after Correlli’s lay up.
“Anytime you’re on the road, you take a win any way we can,” Barnes said. “People expected us to win this game and I expected us to. We haven’t really talked about the Douglas game but it could’ve been in the back of their minds.”
Not much has to be said about the Douglas game. Barnes hasn’t won a league game in Minden since he took over at Carson three years ago and if the Senators want to finish near the top of the Sierra League, beating teams like Douglas is a necessity. The Tigers seem to be struggling right now after a 61-28 loss to Reno and a 81-47 loss to Hug on Tuesday.
“Yeah, if you slip up, you’ve pretty much taken yourself out of it,” Barnes said.