Carson High’s basketball team prides itself on its blue-collar work ethic, but for the first 16 minutes Tuesday night the Senators were outworked and outplayed by Bishop Manogue.
That changed in the second half, especially the third quarter.
The Senators, thanks to a stingy defense and the inside play of Tez Allen, outscored the Miners 14-2 in the third quarter and then put together a 10-0 fourth-quarter run to grab a 50-42 Sierra League win Tuesday night at Morse Burley Gym.
“We made halftime adjustments,” CHS coach Carlo Mendeguia said. “I told the team they had 16 minutes to decide what they wanted to do. We trapped the ball on the high screen and we got two or three turnovers in a row and got some easy baskets.
“I thought Manogue wanted it more in the first half. They played hard.”
Manogue went scoreless on its first four possessions of the second half, missing a shot and turning the ball over three times. Allen scored on a putback, Jayden DeJoseph scored in the paint and Cody Azevedo, who made his second consecutive start, knocked down two free throws to give Carson a 28-26 lead with 5:21 remaining.
After Brandon Concepcion tied the game with a lay-up with 4:50 left, the Miners’ offense went AWOL, turning the ball over four times and missing two field-goal attempts. Carson, meanwhile, went on a quarter-ending 8-0 run as Allen scored on a short bank shot and a lay-up, Asa Carter, who managed just four points, scored on a putback and Jace Keema scored on a lay-up to make it 36-28 after three.
Allen was a force inside whether he was posting up Johnny Reiley or grabbing an offensive rebound. He had 10 points in each half to lead all scorers with 20 points.
“Once that ball goes up I’m trying like heck to get an offensive rebound,” Allen said. “We were more aggressive defensively. We got some turnovers and converted.”
“Tez did a great job, both on offense and defense,” Mendeguia said. “When we needed a basket or rebound tonight, Tez seemed to get it for us.”
Allen made it 38-28 with 7:06 left in the game, but the Miners caught fire, going on a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to 40-38 with 3:05 left in the game.
Reiley and Brevon Bansuelo each had four points in the surge, and Concepcion had a bucket. Concepcion gave Carson fits with his quickness.
Mendeguia used both Kyle Krebs and Azevedo on him, and Krebs seemed to have better success.
Manogue turned the ball over with 2:47 left when Aidan Cantwell picked up his fifth foul. Azevedo knocked down both free throws to make it 42-38, and after Reiley missed a lay-up, the Miners elected to start fouling despite the fact 2-plus minutes remained.
Azevedo again drained two free throws, and that started a parade to the line by the Senators.
Each time Manogue missed, the Miners were forced to foul. Carson went 8-for-10 from the line in the final 2:20 to open up a 50-38 lead.
Azevedo finished as the second-leading scorer with seven points.
“It definitely helped (that I played so much against Galena),” Azevedo said. “I think coach has more confidence in me. He was letting me play through mistakes.
“I think Manogue decided we couldn’t shoot free throws; that we would miss them and come down and score.”
Mendeguia was pleased with Azevedo’s effort.
“Cody getting quality minutes against Galena and playing well tonight will help us come playoff time,” the veteran CHS coach said. “Anytime you get quality minutes (in a tough game) it’s going to help your confidence.”
Carson showed another example of why it has been so good.
Carter had a bad night offensively yet others picked up the slack, especially Allen.
“We haven’t had all five guys (starters) all play well (offensively) all year,” Mendeguia said. “If somebody is having an off night, somebody steps up. That’s been our mojo all year.”
And, you can’t complain about the results.