Senators come back strong to defeat Reed
December 8, 2006
RENO – Yes, that was almost a smile on the face of seventh-year Carson boys basketball coach Bruce Barnes after the Senators took a 59-57 win over the Reed Raiders in the sixth annual Carson Valley Classic Friday at Douglas High School.
“We played a heck of a lot better tonight,” said Barnes, whose Senators endured a horrific shooting night in Thursday’s 48-26 loss to Laguna Creek (Calif.). “We grew as a team tonight. The guys responded after a dismal performance. They were upset with their performance. They came out and stepped it up.”
Senior forward Zach Weismann torched the Raiders’ defense for 13 points in the third quarter, draining a pair of 3-pointers, cutting to the basket for a lay-up and going 5-for-5 from the line, to rally Carson from a 25-21 halftime deficit and give it a 36-34 lead with 3 minutes, 30 seconds to go in the third quarter.
“He got his shooting touch going for him,” Barnes said of the 6-foot-2 Weismann, who scored a game-high 28 points. “He’s a good shooter. He made up for last night. We couldn’t buy one (a basket). But we got them tonight when it mattered most.”
The Senators who evened their record at 1-1, held two four-point leads (4-0, 8-4) early against the Raiders (2-2), but Reed went up 13-8 on a 7-0 run, which was capped by Omari Williams’ 3-pointer.
Williams finished with 10 points and teammates Alex McKenzie (17) and Travis Petersen (11) also finished in double figures.
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After sophomore forward Paul Cagle hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 11-10, Reed went on a 13-0 run and threatened to blow out the Senators.
But Carson stayed patient, switching between a 3-2 and 2-3 zone defense and Reed began gunning some threes and rushing their shots.
A Weismann bucket and a hook from Cagle began an 11-2 run for the Senators, who clawed their way back to within four at the break. Weismann nailed a trey, junior forward Rob Valerius got a rebound and a basket and junior guard Caleb Carter had a lay-up during Carson’s half-ending rally.
Cagle finished with 11 points, Carter nine and Valerius seven.
“I’m extremely happy,” Barnes said. “(The team) improved in a lot of areas. In a team meeting, we identified some areas where we needed to improve. We have a long ways to go, but we took some positive steps.”
After Carson slipped behind, 27-21, on a lay-up by Petersen, Weismann went on his third-quarter tear, hitting his threes and taking a feed from Valerius to put Carson up 29-27.
Petersen and McKenzie took turns attacking the basket and after a Petersen lay-up and a Bryce Elwood three gave the Raiders a 32-29 lead, Cagle and Weismann went 5-of-5 from the foul line to give Carson a 34-32 lead with 4:35 to go in the third.
The Senators and Raiders went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, with Reed taking a 42-40 lead on a Kevin Rastellini lay-up at the end of the period.
The Raiders stretched their lead to 46-40 on a pair of McKenzie lay-ups, but Carson went on an 8-2 run, which was punctuated by a Weismann trey, to give it a 48-46 lead with 4:06 to go.
It was at this point that Barnes had his players slow it down and begin to work their passing game in their halfcourt offense. Reed also ran a halfcourt, but was less patient and took several ill-advised shots from the perimeter, while Carson spread them out and went for some backdoor cuts.
As the Senators slowed the flow of the game, Reed missed some shots and began to foul. Although it made only 7-of-15 foul shots, the Senators checkmated the less patient Raiders.
Carson played a clean defensive game and the Raiders had only had five foul shots, hitting three of them.
The Senators took their biggest lead – 52-47 – after Carter sunk a 3-pointer and Valerius hit a free throw.
Reed did make it interesting when McKenzie had yet another lay-up to close the gap to 54-53, but a Cagle free throw, a Will Holbert lay-up and a Weismann foul shot gave Carson a commanding 58-53 lead with only 22 seconds remaining.
So, after a Jekyll-and-Hyde pair of games from his young Senators, who have only two seniors (Weismann and forward Joe Leatham) to lead a team with four sophomores and seven juniors, does Barnes have an early feel for his squad?
“Not at all,” Barnes said with a laugh. “We don’t know in terms of games, live experience. We haven’t found out. We’re kinda green. We’re being patient with this team. It’s coming along in practice. They played very well tonight. They defended better than last night.”
Carson will face Dayton, a winner over Fallon on Friday, today at noon.