The sign of a young, inexperienced team is inconsistent play.
Carson's girls basketball team gave league-leading Bishop Manogue a tough first quarter, but faltered in the final three and dropped a 64-42 decision Friday night at Morse Burley Gym.
Carson fell to 8-4, setting the stage for a Tuesday showdown against Spanish Springs. The Cougars are currently in third place in the High Desert League, and if the standings hold, the Senators would host the Cougars in a first-round playoff game again this year.
"We go out and play well for a quarter, and then hit a lull," Carson coach Nathan Tolbert said. "We're a young team and we play on emotion. As soon as things go the wrong way... It's something a veteran team wouldn't do. Manogue is a good team, and you can't spot a lot of points to a good team."
Carson led twice in the opening period, 4-3 and 9-7 before Manogue scored of the last nine points of the period, five by Brianna Holt, to take a 14-11 lead, and that was as close as Carson would get the rest of the way.
Manogue opened the second quarter with a 15-5 run to take a 29-16 lead, as Holt had five and Gabi Concepcion had six to lead the surge. After a Carson's Savannah Smith converted a three-point play (she had 16 points), the Miners pushed the halftime lead to 37-23 with Kelly Lujan's 3-pointer starting an 8-4 run.
"We didn't play real well in the first half," Manogue coach Craig Holt said. "We didn't come out ready to play, and that's why I called a timeout after 10 seconds."
Manogue got two treys from Holt and one from Lujan within the first two minutes of the second half to stretch the lead to 46-26.
Smith scored five of Carson's nine fourth-quarter points, but the Senators never got the deficit to under 19 the rest of the way.
"We got a little better in the second half," Holt said.
The Miners shot a respectable 40 percent in the final half, making 8-for-20 from the floor.
Holt and Concepcion led the Miners with 19 points while Lujan finished with 12.
What made Carson's job tough is all three of them have 3-point potential, and all three can beat their defender off the dribble, too.