Senators dominate North Valleys
Fans stayed away in droves Friday night because of the late afternoon snowfall that blanketed Carson City.
It’s too bad because they missed one of Carson’s most dominating performances of the season.
Four players – Rafe King (13), Matt Nolan (12), Alan Cohen (10) and Kyle Denning (10) – all reached double figures to lead the Senators to an easy 66-47 win over North Valleys in a Division I crossover boys basketball game at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
Carson improved to 6-2, and the victory gives the Senators some momentum leading into two key road games, Friday at Douglas and Saturday at Galena.
The game wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Carson played subs liberally in the second half.
“We were looking for improvement from the Wooster game,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “We tried to clean things up. We thought North Valleys would attack us the way Wooster did and make it into a horserace.
“We had some film on them and saw a few things we thought we could exploit versus their full-court pressure. I thought we executed well. The effort was really great tonight.”
And, another thing that brought smile to Mendeguia’s face was the point distribution. Nine different players scored, and Bruce McIntosh (8) and Chris Lopez (7) also almost reached double figures.
Carson took control early, scoring 16 of the game’s first 22 points en route to grabbing an 8-point lead, 18-10, after the opening quarter. King, who has been mired in a bit of a shooting slump, scored eight of his 13 in the first quarter.
“He’s done a good job the last two games of letting the game come to him,” Mendeguia said. “All of the coaches sat down and talked with him. I think he handled it very well. He’s made some big shots the last two games.”
King said he hasn’t been taking extra practice shots in an effort to break out of his slump. He thinks he might be shooting less.
“At the beginning of the season I was shooting before practice and after practice,” King said. “I have other jobs, and that’s to grab rebounds and play better defense. I haven’t been thinking about my shooting. Scoring will come if I play defense and rebound.”
Despite Carson’s quick start, it was still a six-point game midway through the second period. That’s when Carson took control.
The Senators went on a 14-5 half-ending run to make it 39-24 at the half. The Senators hit 6-for-7 from the floor in that span, while holding the Panthers to just a field goal and three free throws.
McIntosh scored two straight hoops to make it 29-19, and after Alexander McGuire scored with 2:45 to make it 29-21, Nolan banged in a 3-pointer to make it 32-21. Mauricio Varela hit three free throws to cut the deficit to 32-24, but Denning scored five straight points and Nolan finished the half with a nice drive to the basket.
“We talked a lot about finishing shots,” Mendeguia said. “Against Wooster, we missed 15 shots from 5-feet and in. We knew we were going to get good shots. The kids stepped up and did a good job.
“Kyle Denning can shoot the ball. We have a lot of guys that can shoot the ball. Sometimes guys coming off the bench play tight because they are afraid of making mistakes.”
Carson outscored North Valleys 13-12 in the third quarter, increasing its lead to 16, 52-36 after three.
The Senators quickly put the game way out of reach at the outset of the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run to make it 62-36 with 4:53 left. Eight of the 10 points in the surge were generated by reserves. Denning had his second 3-pointer of the game to key the run.
There was a scary moment late in the game when Varela knocked Denning, who was trying to draw a charge, to the ground. Denning went down hard, and stayed on the hardwood for two or three minutes before walking off without assistance.