For the second straight night, seniors Rafe King and Matt Nolan stepped up when the Carson Senators needed them the most.
King scored 20 points and Nolan added 19 to lead the Senators to a 59-43 nonleague win over Reed in the annual Capital Classic/Lions Club basketball tournament Friday night at Morse Burley Gym.
Carson, 5-3, won its second consecutive game. The Senators return to action Dec. 18 at McQueen.
Two big surges, one to end the first half and one to end the third quarter, turned the game in Carson's favor.
"When you play a team like Reed, you're going to have a fast-paced game," Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. "If you miss a couple of shots, you're going to find yourself down really quick."
Reed had bolted to an 18-11 lead after 3-pointers by Jonathan Stacy and Trae Wells. Carson roared back with a 14-2 run led by Chris Lopez, to grab a 25-22 lead. A basket by Reed's Alonzo Vega (17 points) and a free throw by Deyraun Stamps tied the game at 25 with 3:25 left in the half.
That's when the game dramatically turned in Carson's favor.
The Senators ran off 11 straight points to enter the locker room with a 36-25 lead. King converted a three-point play, and after Vega misfired at the other end, Alan Cohen scored on a layup. After the teams traded turnovers, Nolan scored on a layup to make it 32-25 with 51.4 remaining.
Reed missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and after working the ball around the perimeter, Nolan scored with 1.3 left. The Reed bench was hit with a technical, and King knocked down both of those shots to cap the barrage. King finished the first half with 10 points, while Nolan added eight.
"We were actively attacking them," Mendeguia said. "That's what got us the lead (at the end of the second quarter).
"Rafe is starting to get his confidence back. It makes a difference when he stays out of foul trouble because he stays on the floor and that helps."
King just smiled when reminded of his recent foul problems. He was happy to not sit out in the first quarter.
What the senior was happy with was the way Kyle Steele stepped up in the first quarter. Steele scored all five of his points in the opening quarter, giving Carson a little boost. The Senators need others to step up to support King and Nolan.
"Kyle was aggressive (offensively)," King said. "He hit a couple of baskets. Matt got off to a slow start (scoring-wise), and Kyle kind of took his place."
Mendeguia said he's talked to the team about others supporting the scoring efforts with baskets of their own.
"Offensively, it (the seniors dominating) is working right now," Mendeguia sad. "They (the other players) know they have the green light. Hopefully by the time we get to the heart of our schedule, they will get more confident and comfortable."
The Raiders cut the lead to 42-35 with 3:12 left in the third quarter on a basket and free throw by Wells. Carson quickly took control, scoring nine straight points, six by Nolan, to take a 51-35 lead after three quarters.
Nolan was able to get into the lane or to the glass on two straight drives. After a Reed turnover, King knocked down a 3-pointer. Following another error, Nolan scored to close out the quarter.
"They started to pressure us more out top and taking more chances defensively,'' Mendeguia said. "We spread the floor, and guys were able to get some easy baskets."
Reed did close to 11, 51-40, midway through the fourth period. Carson closed out the game with an 8-3 run.
Carson is now off for 11 days, and Mendeguia said the time will be used to heal up players and get back to work on fundamentals.