Carson High, locked in a first-place tie in the Sierra League with Galena, closes out its regular-season schedule tonight against rival Douglas.
The tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
Both teams are already assured playoff spots no matter the outcome. Douglas clinched fourth and a first-round date at Spanish Springs next Tuesday after beating Damonte Ranch. Carson can finish no worse than second and will host a playoff opener on Tuesday.
If the Senators win and Galena knocks off Damonte, Manogue needs to beat Wooster which would enable Carson to gain the top seed on the Sierra side. If both teams win and Wooster wins, Carson would be the No. 2 seed. If Carson wins and Galena loses, Carson would be the top seed. No matter what, the Senators will play in front of their home fans during the playoffs. That’s a big deal, considering Carson is 6-2 at home this year. Spanish Springs and Galena are the only teams to win at CHS this year.
Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia thinks tonight’s game will be a much different than the 48-23 drubbing Carson handed the Tigers back on Jan. 27. The Tigers’ Michael Johnson (injury), who averages 11 points per game, isn’t expected to play.
“Based on their game against Damonte last week they didn’t miss him,” Mendeguia said. “They shot 56 percent from the field.
“They share the ball well and have a lot of guys who can handle the ball. Connor Lyon (8.1 ppg), (Alex) Tessman (4.4) can shoot it so can Zach Kellar (5.0 ppg).
“Oh, I absolutely expect a different game. We jumped on them early the last time, and that can knock the air out of a team sometimes. It’s a rivalry game. They would love nothing better than to knock us out of that No. 1 spot.”
Another guy that Carson will need to keep an eye on is Sam Broersma, who averages 7.3 a game. Broersma’s strength is his inside game, and he does jump well.
Carson defended well the last time the teams met, and the Senators will need to do that again. Carson played solid defense against Manogue, especially on Derek Novsek. The Miners’ star hit some 3s, but that’s when Carson players got caught defending the lane on penetration.
The Senators are coming off a double-overtime win over Bishop Manogue, giving CHS a sweep of the Miners. The win assured Carson of a home first-round playoff game.
Carson has relied heavily on the scoring of Asa Carter and Cameron Price. The duo are a potent 1-2 punch. Carter had 17 and Price 16 against Manogue. Price had the key go-ahead three-point play in the second overtime that gave Carson the lead for good. Carter had all 17 of his points in the first three quarters.
Carter is a true two-way player. He’ll probably draw Lyon or Kellar.
“I have the same mentality for basketball as I do football when it comes to defense,” Carter said. “I like playing defense in every sport I do.”
Sophomores Tez Allen and Jayden DeJoseph have been solid in their first varsity season, but need to take another step forward in the postseason. Point guard Kyle Steele has had problems getting the ball to drop, but he needs to play smart handling the ball and keep the turnovers to a minimum.
• The scene is the same for the girls game, which starts at 5:15 p.m.
Carson and Douglas are both headed to the playoffs. Douglas is locked into the No. 2 spot behind Manogue, and is hosting a first-round game on Wednesday at 7. Carson and Galena, both 7-8, are tied for third. Carson needs to pull off an upset tonight and have Damonte upset Galena to move into third place and a first-round game against Reed. If Carson is the No. 4 seed, it’s going to visit unbeaten Reno.
The Senators need to get scoring from somebody besides Maddie Preston and Michelle Perry.