MINDEN — The Carson Senators have run the table.
Carson broke open a close game with a 13-4 run to start the fourth quarter and went on to a 65-49 win over the Douglas Tigers before a packed house Friday night at Randy Green Court in the regular-season finale for both schools.
Carson finished the Division 1 season 16-0 and improved to 22-5 overall heading into next week’s regional playoffs. It was Carson’s 20th straight win in games played in northern Nevada this year. The Senators host Reed Wednesday night at 7.
“I told the kids to enjoy it right now,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “It is a good accomplishment. Starting next week everybody is 0-0. We have three games left and we need to go 3-0.
“I have to give credit to Douglas. They played hard and showed a lot of heart. They fought to the bitter end.”
Douglas played without Michael and Sam Johnson, who left the team this week. Michael Johnson was the team’s leading scorer at nearly 15 a game. The fact the Tigers were able to withstand a couple of big surges and keep the game close for three quarters was impressive.
“The kids showed they had heart and they battled,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “It’s tough when you get down like that (to get over the hump) especially against a good team like Carson who can control the tempo. I’m proud of our kids.”
The Tigers certainly made Carson sweat in the third quarter, outscoring the Sierra champs, 22-13. Douglas outscored Carson 13-6 in the final 2:57 of the period to trim Carson’s lead to 43-40 after three periods. Most of the damage was done by James Perry, who knocked down 11 points in the stanza, nine coming on 3-point shots. Perry finished with 17.
“We took advantage of the opportunities and got open looks,” Thacker said. “The kids were looking to take the (3-point) shots.”
“They got hot,” Mendeguia said. “We started getting out a lot harder to the 3-point line in the fourth quarter.”
The result was the Tigers got just a game-ending 3-pointer from Jake Evans and just nine points in the final quarter.
Jayden DeJoseph, who tied Asa Carter and Tez Allen for high-point honors with 18, got the ball rolling for the Senators when he knocked down his only 3-pointer of the game to make it 46-40. After Perry misfired on a 3-pointer, Carson scored six of the next eight points, four by Carter and two by Allen, to make it 52-42 with 5:42 left in the game.
Allen’s shot was impressive. He drove to the basket and had his initial shot blocked. He got the ball with his back to the basket and flipped it in.
“That’s an instinctive play,” Mendeguia said. “As a player, you know where the basket is (even if you aren’t facing it). I’ve seen him make that shot in practice. Tez got ramped up in the fourth quarter. He had a couple of three-point plays that got us going.”
After Dylan Hinks scored to make it 56-46 with 4:49 left, Allen came up with his second big play of the quarter, converting a tough inside shot and getting fouled. The ensuing free throw made it 59-46 with 4:30 left. He went on to add two more baskets before the game ended.
“It’s a relief (that the league season is over and we’re unbeaten),” Allen said while accepting congratulations from CHS students. “I don’t ever like to lose.”
“We’ve had a target on our back all year,” DeJoseph said. “Tonight didn’t make it any bigger. We have to stay strong and be mentally tough.”