RENO — Carson High is losing the battle to host a first-round playoff game.
The Senators dropped their third straight game, a 54-52 overtime decision, Friday night to host Bishop Manogue. Carson falls to 7-5 in Division I play.
The only good news is that the Senators remained in a third-place tie with Douglas, which lost to red-hot Galena. The Damonte Ranch Mustangs, who come to Carson next Friday, are 8-3 and one game behind first-place Galena in the loss column.
The game-winner was on a floater by Collin Bernard with 6.6 seconds left in overtime. Carson was unable to get off a shot to win the game or send it into a second overtime.
A frustrated Carlos Mendeguia emerged after a lengthy post-game chat with his team. With just two weeks left in the season, Carson needs to get off the snide and put together a winning streak to move past Damonte Ranch. It won’t be an easy task with three of the final four (Spanish Springs. Wooster and Douglas) on the road.
“I tried to emphasize to the kids that it was going to be a different game (than the one at our place),” Mendeguia said. “This is a tough place to play. I have a lot of respect for their players. Many of them have played together on varsity for three years.
“I don’t think we executed real well early. There was too much 1-on-1 at times. Once we were down 10 we settled down and made a nice run.”
The nice run Menedguia referred to was a 12-2 surge that wiped out a 47-37 Manogue lead and sent the game to overtime tied at 49.
Asa Carter started the surge with a 3-pointer from the right side, and after a Bernard misfire, Alan Cohen scored on a layup to make it 47-42. Zach Wurm scored on a nice drive to the basket to get the lead back to seven, 49-42, with 5 minutes left. That would be the last point the Miners would score in regulation.
Carter scored on a nice drive to the basket, and then after Kyle Denning forced a turnover, Cameron Price scored on a putback to make it 49-46 with 3:54 left in regulation. After Manogue turned the ball over, Price was fouled and hit one of two from the line to make it 49-47. Each team failed to score on its next two possessions. Jack Sanders missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2:33 left. Carter (12 points) missed a shot, but Price (13 points) grabbed the offensive rebound. Carson was having trouble running a play, and just as a CHS player broke through the Manogue defense, Mendeguia called timeout with approximately two minutes left. Carter tied the game at 49 with 1:57 remaining.
Manogue misfired on its next possession, and Kyle Steele (11 points) was fouled with 39.3 left. He missed the front end, but Cohen got the rebound and Mendeguia took a timeout with 20.1 left. Denning, however, turned the ball over trying to pass the ball out from the baseline. Manogue called time with 1.2 left, but Carter intercepted the inbounds pass, sending the game into overtime.
“We felt we had a mismatch with Kyle Steele, and we were going to have our 4 and 5 pinch in on the baseline,” Mendeguia said. “They did a good job of trapping Steele at the point.”
James Sandoval gave the Miners a 51-49 lead 15 seconds into overtime, and then Wurm made one of two free throws to make it 52-49 with 3:01 left. Carson turned the ball over on its next two possessions, and Manogue had missed shot and a turnover in that span. Steele tied the game at 52 with a 3-pointer with 1:43 to go. Manogue was content to hold the ball near midcourt, and Mendeguia instructed his team to lay back and let valuable seconds tick off the clock.
“I knew they were going to call a timeout with 15 seconds left because I heard their coach say that,” Mendeguia said. “It gave us a good chance to rest. We were a little gassed at that point.”
Bernard, after the timeout, drove the lane and threw up a floater that went in.
“I told Collin that if he saw an opening that he had to go,” said Manogue coach Brent McConaghy, whose team improved to 5-7, “We were looking for Remy (Dillard). The floater wasn’t in the plans.”
“We had a miscommunication,” Mendeguia said. “Some of us thought we were playing a zone and some thought we were in a man.”
Carson led 13-12 after one, but Manogue went into the dressing room with a 27-24 lead.
The Miners took control 40-28 with a 12-2 run in the third quarter, a surge fueled by 3-pointers from Sandoval, Wurm and Sanders. Carson used a 9-2 run to end the quarter thanks to baskets by Denning, Price, Cohen and a 3-pointer by Steele.