LAKE TAHOE - Carson High played solid defense for 24 minutes. Unfortunately high school games last 32 minutes.
Lodi broke loose for 20 points, 12 by Ryan Gardner, to hand the Senators a 45-35 season-opening loss Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Viking Classic at South Tahoe High School.
Carson returns to action today at 5 against the loser of the Bradshaw Christian-Bear River game.
"I thought our defense was good," Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. "We held them to 11 in the first half and 25 through three. We let them go for 20 in the fourth quarter.
"They went to a little zone in the fourth quarter which played into our hands. We had some unforced turnovers.
Carson trailed 7-4 after one quarter, but a 10-4 second-quarter run gave the Senators a 14-11 lead at the half. The lead could have been bigger if Carson had shot the ball better.
"We were 3 for 10 from the line," Barnes said. "It was guys who usually make them. They are all pretty good free throw shooters. We just couldn't bury a shot."
Patrick Smith led Carson with nine points and Brian Barnes added six.