Carson’s pressure defense too much for Fallon
Carson High boys coach Bruce Barnes saw Fallon play three straight days in the Capital Classic last month, so he knew exactly what he wanted to do defensively in Friday’s game.
Barnes wanted his team to pressure the young Greenwave, and that’s exactly what happened.
Carson, which has ridden its defense to a 5-1 record in Sierra League play so far, forced 33 turnovers and converted them into 35 points en route to a 66-35 victory at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
“We’re playing pretty good defense and the offense comes around,” Barnes said after the Senators’ second straight victory. “I thought pressure would bother them, but you never know how much.
“This year’s team individually (defensively) 1 through 5 might not be as good as others I’ve had. Our team defense is pretty good, though. We have a couple of lockdown guys (Josh Peacock and Brennan Shaffer).”
Andrew Johnson and Brian Barnes were the beneficiaries of the trapping defense employed. Each was credited with seven steals, many of which led to baskets.
“Andrew got his hands on a lot of balls,” coach Barnes said. “He has real quick hands.”
The 5-foot-6 sophomore made his presence felt early in the contest.
In a 71⁄2 minute stretch spanning the final three minutes of the first quarter and 41⁄2 minutes of the second, Carson outscored Fallon 19-5 to build a 27-11 lead. Fallon turned the ball over six times in that stretch.
Johnson had six points in that span, two of the baskets coming after he stole the ball. He also set up two other scores with steals. Shaffer, Johnson’s partner in the backcourt, knocked down two 3-pointers in that stretch. Both baskets came because Carson did a good job working the ball around the perimeter.
Armed with a 14-point lead at the half (35-21), Carson really turned up the heat at the outset of the second half.
Fallon turned the ball over eight straight times without a shot, and Carson converted six of those opportunities in a 15-0 run to put the game out of reach, 50-21 with 2:53 left in the third quarter.
“You throw the ball away like we did, you don’t even have a chance (to win),” Fallon coach T.W. Cunningham said. “We looked scared an intimidated. Carson did a good job of getting out into the passing lanes. They played harder than us.”
Johnson got a steal and a lay-up to start the surge and Brian Barnes converted a turnover into a lay-up. After the teams exchanged turnovers, Josh Peacock, Shaffer and Pat Smith all scored in a 37-second span following three Fallon turnovers to make it 45-21. Barnes drained two free throws after another Fallon miscue to make it 47-21 and reserve center Matt Cooper made it 50-21 with a three-point play.
Cooper was one of three players to score 10 points, joining Johnson and Smith. Shaffer led the Senators with 12.
“Matt works hard everyday in practice,” Barnes said. “He’s a physical player which is what we need in there. I thought he did a good job.”
Carson ended the third quarter with a 52-23 lead. The Senators’ starting unit came out to start the final period, sticking around long enough for Johnson to get a steal and lay-up and Brennan a lay-up before turning the rest of the game over to the reserves.