Welch helps Senators defeat Cougars
You can call Brian Welch a guard, forward or post player for the Carson High boys basketball team. Oh, and there’s one more thing, according to coach Bruce Barnes.
“You can call it, ‘Get the ball to him,'” Barnes said with a chuckle.
Welch made his first outing of the season a successful one, as the 5-foot-11 senior scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds to help the Senators secure a 47-40 victory in their season home opener against Spanish Springs on Saturday night at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
The win was the second in a row for the Senators after dropping four games at the Carson Valley Classic last weekend.
“Everyone stepped up tonight,” Welch said. “It’s always good to get a W. This was a good confidence builder for our younger guys.”
Saturday was the first time Welch had been eligible to play this season and his presence on the court was welcome simply because he is one of two players on the roster who had varsity experience.
“He’s been anxious to get out there – he’s been practicing for three weeks and this was his first chance to play – and I’m glad to see him out there,” Barnes said. “It’s a confidence factor, and he’s a three-year varsity guy who can play a lot of different roles for us, a guard who is also a good post player.”
Welch scored Carson’s first six points en route to an 8-6 lead. Point guard Adam Houghton connected on a three-pointer in the final minute before halftime as the Senators extended their lead to 19-9 at the intermission.
“Defense was probably our big thing tonight,” Welch said. “Everyone played good D in our zone.”
The Senators warmed up offensively at the outset of the third quarter as Kyle Bacon knocked down a three-pointer, then Welch took a pass from Houghton and hit a three ball from the top of the key to make it 25-11. Bacon added another three-pointer to give the Senators a 30-16 lead with 3:24 left in the third period.
The Cougars staged a late run and pulled to within 46-40 on Casey Rodela’s three-pointer with 44 seconds remaining. The Senators pushed the lead back to seven on a Jeremiah Teeter free throw, although the Senators only shot 5-for-13 from the free throw line inside the final two minutes.
Houghton finished with nine points and Bacon seven on a night when eight players scored for the Senators. The Senators put 11 different players on the floor in the first quarter alone.
“We’re doing some different things here in December than we’ll be doing in January when league starts,” Barnes said. “But we hope to have enough depth where we can settle into being able to rotate nine or 10 guys in and out of there.”
Rodela led Spanish Springs with 15 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter, while Doug Williams added 12.
Carson plays again Wednesday at the Nugget Rail City Classic in Sparks with a 6 p.m. game against San Francisco Lowell at Reed High School. Carson’s frosh and JV teams host Bishop Manogue for games on Tuesday.
Rob Valerius scored 17 points and came up with a late steal that helped the JV Senators slam the door shut in a 48-36 win against Spanish Springs.
Jeff Van Epps also scored 10 points for the Senators (3-3), who had 11 players reach the score column. Forward Martin Sosa played strong defense to go with his five points (3-for-4 from the free throw line), according to coach Gavin Ward.
Carson led 20-16 at halftime and 31-24 at the end of three quarters.
On Friday, Van Epps scored 10 points and Valerius seven for the Senators in a 47-35 loss at Galena.
Zack Rispin buried a three-pointer from the left wing to send the game to overtime and then added two clutch free throws late in the extra period as Carson rallied for a 52-49 win against Spanish Springs.
Chris McBroom converted a three-point play to give Carson (5-1) a one-point lead in overtime. Spanish Springs was limited to four points in the extra period, all on 4-for-8 free throw shooting.
Mitch Brantingham scored 18 points to lead the Senators offensively, while Will Holbert added nine, McBroom nine, Rispin eight and Caleb Carter six.
Contact Dave Price at email@example.com or call 881-1220.