MINDEN — Fast starts have been the norm for Carson High this season, and the Senators followed that trend on Tuesday night.
The Senators held arch-rival Douglas scoreless for three big stretches en route to an easy 48-23 Sierra League win on Randy Green Court.
The big win was Carson’s seventh straight and moved the Senators to 9-2 in Northern Division I play and 12-6 overall heading into Friday’s Winter Homecoming game against Damonte Ranch.
For the season, Carson has now outscored opponents, 243-149. That has been a key to the Senators’ success, especially in league play.
“We do a lot of prep work for the games,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “We want to set the tempo early in the game; set the stage for how we want to play.”
“Carson played great defense,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “They got after us. They attacked us at both ends of the court. They had us on our heels from the start of the game. Offensively, we didn’t attack the rim. We only shot two free throws the entire first half.”
The Tigers struggled to score all night, and managed an ice-cold 8-for-32 from the floor. They also didn’t handle the ball well, turning it over 15 times.
Conversely, Carson played a strong three quarters of offense and finished at 63 percent from the field (19-for-30) with 17 turnovers. The Senators shot themselves in the foot more often than the Tigers stopped them.
“We shot the ball well,” Mendeguia said. “We executed well. When we stick to the game plan, we do pretty well. We went away from that late in the first half and gave up a couple of baskets.”
Douglas led twice the entire game — 5-4 and 7-5. The latter lead was with 4:22 left after a basket by Jace Hart. It was the last points Douglas would score for the next 10-minutes and 12-seconds. Some of it was great defense by Carson, but Douglas did miss several shots from close range.
Carson outscored the Tigers by 23 in that span to grab a 29-7 lead with 2:28 left in the first half.
Cameron Price (14 points), Tez Allen (12) and Asa Carter (13) did most of the damage in that big run.
Allen started the surge with a basket, Carter followed with two free throws and Allen added two more at the charity stripe. After Jayden DeJoseph scored from the key, Carter got a steal and converted it into a three-point play with 4 seconds to go, giving Carson a 17-0 lead after one quarter.
The Senators kept the pedal to the metal in the second quarter, scoring 12 straight. Eight of those points belonged to Price, who had no trouble getting to the basket.
“Douglas was switching on all screens,” Mendeguia said. “We didn’t change (our offense) too much. We saw different things we could do from different sets, and took advantage of that. We scored well in the block.”
A free throw by Sam Broersma broke the lengthy drought and made it 29-8, but Price scored again to make it 31-8 before Broersma scored with 35 seconds left to make it 31-10 at the half. “We didn’t come out ready to play and Carson did,” Thacker said. “You can’t do that in any game. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Carson or anybody else.”
Carson went on a 13-6 run to open up a 44-16 lead with 2:28 left in the third. Allen had a layup and short jump shot and Jace Keema knocked down his first 3-pointer of the season to key the outburst. Douglas scored the last two buckets of the quarter to make it 44-20. Douglas did go more than 4 1/2 minutes without a point in the period.
Neither team did much in the final period, as Carson was content to run time off the clock although it did turn the ball over five times.
“That (working on keeping turnovers down) is something we have worked on all year,” Mendeguia said. “You can’t win games if you’re turning the ball over. I worry when it gets close to or up in the 20s. We have to play clean basketball. “We’re playing really well right now.”
Mendeguia didn’t dispute when asked if this might be the best stretch Carson has played since he took over three years ago.