SPARKS — Turnovers and the inability to contain Ken Meyer sent Carson High’s boys basketball team to its fourth straight loss Tuesday night.
Meyer scored 29, including eight of the team’s last 10, and Carson turned the ball over 17 times, including seven times in the final quarter, en route to a heartbreaking 43-42 loss to Spanish Springs.
Carson falls to 7-6 heading into Friday’s home game against Damonte Ranch.
“Spanish Springs is a good team,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “We’ve always had good battles with them. They are a very well-coached team and they have one of the best shooters in the north (Meyer). The fact that he had 29 of their 43 doesn’t say a lot about our team defense. It’s not losing by 1. It’s not for a lack of playing hard. We just turned the ball over way too much.”
Carson had a chance to go ahead five different times in the final quarter and turned the ball over each time.
The misery started after Meyer scored on a layup with 5:03 left to give the Cougars their first lead of the game, 37-36. Asa Carter, on a drive to the basket, had the ball go off his foot and out of bounds. Meyer drained two free throws at the other end to make it 39-36. Cameron Price scored on a layup to cut the lead to 39-38 with four minutes left. After a Meyer miss, Kyle Steele’s pass for Price went out of bounds.
After Spanish Springs turned the ball over on an illegal screen, Meyer knocked a pass off Carter’s hands to give the ball back to the Cougars. Spanish Springs went 0-for-2 on the ensuing possession, both misses coming at the rim. Kyle Denning gave Carson a 40-39 lead with 1:25 left when he followed in a Steele miss. Meyer regained the lead for the Cougars, 41-40 with two free throws. Spanish Springs pressed after the made free throw, and Price lost the ball on the sideline. Spanish Springs, however, turned the ball over on a 5-second violation when Meyer was unable to break loose.
“They have to know that we have timeouts left,” SS coach Kyle Penney said. “That’s on me, too. I was calling for a timeout, but the officials didn’t hear me.”
Steele tried to get a little too fancy with the dribble, turning it over. Carson was forced to foul, and Dupree Kness made two free throws to make it 43-40 with 29 seconds left. Meyer and Kness scored all of Spanish Springs’ points in the final two quarters.
After a timeout, Steele had a chance to tie the game, but his 3-pointer was off the mark. Price followed the ball in to make it 43-42 with 8.1 left. The better thing might have been for Price to toss the ball back out for a 3-pointer, but that didn’t happen.
“It’s instinctive to get it and score,” Mendeguia said of Price’s play. “We should have tried to trap or foul right away, and we didn’t, and they ran off eight seconds.”
Penney was obviously pleased to get the win.
“We did a good job on defense,” Penney said. “We didn’t rebound really well. They had eight offensive rebounds and scored six times off those. But we did hold them to 42 points. I don’t know how we came away with a win.”
Led by Ian Schulz (3 points), who gave Carson some energy off the bench, the Senators led 16-9 after one period. Spanish Springs used an 8-2 run to pull to within 23-22 with 1:20 left in the half. A free throw and 3-pointer by Steele in the final 4.6 seconds gave Carson a 27-22 lead at the break.
Spanish Springs pulled to within 29-28 thanks to a 6-2 run, but two free throws by Alan Cohen and a three by Carter made it 34-28. Meyer hit a trey from the corner to make it 34-31 after three. That was the start of a 10-2 run that propelled Spanish Springs to a 39-36 lead, setting the stage for a wild finish.