There is no place like home.
Thanks to 25 points from Matt Nolan, Carson High's boys basketball team snapped a three-game road losing streak with a 67-53 win over Bishop Manogue Friday night at Morse Burley Gym.
The win pushes Carson to 12-10 overall heading into an important showdown with Spanish Springs on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
"We finally got to come back and play a home game," Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. "It's been a while since we've been here.
"I thought the third quarter was key. Once we got the lead, it was just a matter of holding on."
Nolan, Rafe King (15 points) and Alan Cohen keyed a 14-3 run which wiped out a 27-23 Manogue lead and gave the Senators a 37-30 lead with less than a minute left in the period.
Nolan, who scored 21 of his game-high 25 in the second half, started the surge with a 3-pointer, and King's three-point play gave Carson the lead for good at 29-26 with 4:26 left. Cohen scored back-to-back baskets, Nolan drained two free throws and King finished the surge with a nice drive to the basket.
The Miners had no one who could stay in front of Nolan, who between knocking down a couple of 3-pointers and attacking the basket, was a thorn in Manogue's side in the last 16 minutes.
"I decided to attack the basket," Nolan said. "The last two games I didn't shoot the ball real well. When I drive to the basket, they start to give me a little more room to shoot."
"They (Nolan and King) complement each other," Mendeguia said. "They are two completely different players. Matt likes to attack the basket, and Rafe does that too, but he sometimes settles for a 3-pointer. If people think Matt can't shoot from the outside they are making a big mistake. As a point guard, he's trained to take the high percentage shot."
The teams played even in the fourth quarter. Carson held a 53-47 led with 1:50 to go, as Manogue, thanks to the shooting of James Sandoval, hung tough.
Manogue was forced to foul down the stretch, and the Senators knocked down 12 of 14 free throws within the final two minutes to put the game away. Sandoval had two 3-pointers in the final 70 seconds. The second trey made it 60-53 with 50.3 left.
Mendeguia was pleased with the effort he got from role players Kyle Denning, who helped hold Remy Dillard to 12 points, and Dylin Rooker, who scored nine points off the bench.
"Kyle did a great job on Dillard," Mendeguia said. "Dylin got some quality minutes and did a good job."
Carson got off to a quick 7-0 start in the first 80 seconds of the game, but was outscored 20-7 over the next 10 minutes thanks to eight points by Sandoval (18 total) in that stretch. A 9-4 run to end the half closed Manogue's lead to 24-23 at the half.
"We talked about coming out ready to play, and we did that with the seven straight points," Mendeguia said. "The next time I looked up it was 14-8. The second quarter we got away from what we were trying to do."
That set the stage for the second-half explosion led by Nolan and King, who combined for 33 of the Senators' 40 points in the final 16 minutes.