Carson moves into first place in Sierra League
Guess who the hottest team is in Northern Nevada basketball? If you guessed the Carson Senators, go to the head of the class.
Carson moved into a tie for first place in the Sierra League after knocking off Bishop Manogue, 45-38, Friday night in a Sierra League game at Morse Burley Gym.
The Senators, by virtue of their sixth straight league win since a Jan. 3 loss at Reno, are now 8-2 in league and 11-6 overall and have moved into first place in the Sierra League. Carson visits arch-rival Douglas Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The beauty of this streak is it’s not just one or two guys like it was in 2012 when Rafe King and Matt Nolan carried CHS into the regional finals. This is a team getting key contributions from different people every game.
On Friday, senior Cameron Price scored 17 points, including six in the pivotal fourth quarter when CHS pulled away. Tez Allen had 12 big points and did yeoman like work on the glass and Asa Carter held Manogue’s best player Derek Novsek to 11 points and none in the fourth quarter.
“I’m happy where we’re at right now,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “I’m very pleased by the fact that we are a young team, but that we are executing the game plan very well. The kids are sticking with the game plan. They are like sponges, absorbing everything we are throwing at them.
“This is as deep a team as we’ve had here. We are deep at the 4-5 positions, and that’s huge. We have guards that we can break off the bench without a lot of drop-off. I have a lot of confidence in our guys.”
After Carson scored 16 of the game’s first 24 points, seven by Price, Manogue dug in and cut Carson’s lead to 20-18 at the half. The Miners outscored CHS 10-4 in the final four minutes of the second period to get back into the game. Novsek had his only basket of the first half and two free throws in that span. Other than that he was a non factor.
“Asa did an outstanding job,” Mendeguia said. “Novsek is a very good player; a coach’s kid. He’s a good offensive player. Asa is a great athlete. He knows what it takes to compete. He did a good job of keeping in front of him.”
Carter, who has been Carson’s leading scorer in recent games, only scored four points. No matter. His value Friday was at the defensive end, and he was fine with that.
“I like defense,” Carter said. “I like shutting down (or containing) the other team’s best player. When he had the ball, I tried to stay in front of him and I tried to deny him the ball. Most of his points in the first half were on free throws.”
Trailing 30-27 after three quarters, Manogue opened the fourth quarter with a 5-2 run to take its first lead of the game, 33-32, with 5:33 remaining. James Cantwell knocked down a 3-pointer and Johnny Reiley had three free throws in that span.
Carson came back with a vengeance, scoring nine straight points for a 41-33 lead with 1:02 left.
Carter started the surge with his second and final hoop of the game, and after a Manogue misfire, Jace Keema got a great pass from Allen and scored. Jayden DeJoseph made it 37-33 with a free throw, and then after Novsek missed, Price converted a three-point play to make it 40-33 with 1:37 left. After a DeJoseph steal, Manogue was forced to foul, and Price knocked in one of two to make it 41-33. Collin Bernard made two free throws, and after Carter missed the front end of a one-and-one, Zack Teats drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner to make it 41-38 with 30 ticks left.
On the ensuing in bound play after a Carson timeout, Price got the ball deep, but couldn’t get the lay-up to drop. He was fouled on the play and made both shots to make it 43-38. Price had been helping bring the ball up, but after the timeout, was moved to the Manogue basket.
“We thought they were going to be in a different press,” Price said. “I think Manogue was the best overall team we’ve played so far.”
Teats missed for Manogue, and Allen supplied the finishing touches with two free throws with nine seconds left.
Price had a tough time getting some inside shots to fall, but the big key is he knocked down some free throws and kept his composure on the floor. It’s obvious Carson is a different team with him on the bench.
“He shot free throws well,” Mendeguia said. “He struggled a little offensively, but when it got to the nitty gritty he came through.”