Laguna Creek defeats Carson in opener
GARDNERVILLE – The Carson High boys basketball team is striving to gain experience right now. The Senators are looking to get there by the end of this season, but on Thursday night, experience favored Laguna Creek in a 49-42 victory at the Douglas-hosted Carson Valley Classic.
Adam Wood scored 10 of his game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter, as Laguna Creek outscored the Senators 18-8 in the final eight minutes to win the season and tournament opener for both teams at the Carson Valley Middle School.
In a game that went back and forth most of the way, Carson took a 34-31 lead to the final period against the defending tournament champion Cardinals from Elk Grove, Calif.
“We’re a little inexperienced and I think it showed in the fourth quarter,” Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. “The kids played hard, and they’re trying hard, but some things happened and they hit some clutch shots down the stretch.”
Adam Houghton scored on a breakaway layup, off a steal and pass from Steve Mandoki, and then Kevin Brush converted a three-point play with 27.3 seconds showing on the clock as Carson took a 34-31 at the end of three quarters.
The Senators still led 37-35 after Jack Jacquet and Mandoki combined to knock down three free throws early in the fourth quarter. But Vaughn Canta hit a shot from beyond the three-point arc to put the Cardinals on top 38-37, then moments later, a Jerry Henderson steal led to Wood converting a three-point play to make it 41-37 with 3:47 showing on the clock.
It was a cool shooting night for the Senators, who finished with 12 field goals and only shot 12-for-25 from the free throw line.
“We don’t have a lot of size, so we’re going to have to shoot better,” said Barnes. “But again, I think inexperience is part of it. We have a lot of kids who are still getting a feel for the game.”
Six-foot-3 sophomore Bryce Crook, the tallest starter in Carson’s lineup, led the Senators with 10 points to go with four rebounds and three assists. Kyle Bacon scored eight points, while Brush added seven for the Senators. Bacon knocked down a pair of three-point shots to help stake the Senators to a 17-9 lead after one quarter.
Henderson scored nine points, while Mark Clark and Jon Fritzsche added eight each to a balanced Laguna Creek offense. In addition to his 14 points, Wood pulled down eight rebounds.
Barnes wasn’t disappointed in the season opening performance by the Senators.
“Overall, I was happy,” he said. “You’re never happy after a loss, but if the kids keep playing hard, they’re going to be all right.”
Carson returns to action today with a 4 p.m. contest at Douglas High against the Colfax (Calif.) Falcons.
Notes: In addition to the Carson-Colfax game, today’s Carson Valley Classic schedule puts Fairview (Boulder, Colo.) against Laguna Creek at 5:30 p.m. and Granada (Livermore, Calif.) against Douglas at 7. Two other games will be played at Carson Valley Middle School: Fallon against Hug at 5:30 and Reed against Lowry at 7. … In an earlier game at Carson Valley Middle School Thursday night, Zack Radecke buried a three-pointer from the top of the key with 9.6 seconds remaining as Granada rallied to beat Hug 64-63 in a barnburner. Radecke, a 6-6 senior, finished with 20 points for Granada. Alex Cordelli, a 6-5 senior, led all scorers with 27 points, including a trio of three-pointers during a 25-4 run bridging the first and second quarters when Granada surged to a 29-13 lead. Hug came back to cut the gap to 31-29 at halftime. Armon Johnson led Hug with 18 points, seven in the final 1:32.
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Laguna Creek 49, Carson 42
Laguna Creek 9 15 7 18 – 49
Carson 17 6 11 8 – 42
Laguna Creek (1-0): Wood 5 4-5 14, Henderson 3 3-5 9, Clark 4 0-0 8, Fritzsche 2 3-4 8, Underwood 0 2-4 2, Canta 1 0-0 3, Keyes 2 1-2 5, Totals 17 13-20 49.
Carson (0-1): Houghton 2 0-0 4, Bacon 3 0-0 8, Gardner 0 1-2 1, Jacquet 0 5-6 5, Brush 3 1-1 7, Crook 4 2-4 10, Mandoki 0 1-4 1, Jeffers 2 2-2 6, Totals 14 12-25 42.
3-point goals: (Laguna Creek) Canta 1, Fritzsche 1; (Carson) Bacon 2.