In Carson High’s run to an undefeated 16-0 league season and a Sierra League championship, close calls have been rare.
The Senators have beaten the opposition by an average of 15 points a game. Five games, two each against Galena and Bishop Manogue, and one against North Valleys, were the only contests decided by less than 10 points.
Carson’s closest calls have come against Galena. The Senators swept the regular-season series, 60-54 and 43-41, but had to wipe out second-half deficits of 10 and eight points, respectively.
The Sierra League rivals meet tonight at 7:15 at Spanish Springs in the Division I regional semifinals. The winner of the game is guaranteed a berth in next week’s state tournament at Lawlor Events Center.
“I have the utmost respect for Galena,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “They are always a tough game for us. They have a great inside-outside game. I feel fortunate we were able to come up with two wins this year. Either Spanish Springs or Galena was going to be a tough draw for us. We are going to have to bring our ‘A’ game.”
Mendeguia stopped short of saying Galena was the second-best team in Northern Nevada because the Senators only played the High Desert teams once, and that was back in December and early January.
“We don’t play everybody twice, and you face different match-up problems depending on who you play. They (Galena) are a very good team.”
The Grizzlies present match-up issues because of their length. If they desire, the Grizzlies can throw 6-6 Dillon Voyles, 6-7 Zach Williams, 6-5 Derek Kline and 6-6 Moses Wood on the floor at the same time with 3-point shooter Noah Peck. The length has bothered Carson’s offense at times.
Voyles and Williams both average 16.6 a game, and if Mendeguia opens in a man-to-man defense, expect to see Asa Carter on Voyles and Tez Allen on Williams. Voyles had 11 and Williams 14 in the 43-41 game. In the 60-54 game, Voyles had 14 and Williams 12.
“They have probably been the toughest team (on us),” said junior forward Jayden DeJoseph, who is averaging 17.5 a game against the Grizzlies. “If we play our game, we have a great shot to win. We need to defend well.”
“I’m excited. It will be fun,” Allen said. “Both games have been good ones. We have to come and play defense.”
Carson is hoping the third time is a charm. The Senators have been thwarted twice in their efforts to reach the state tournament under Mendeguia.
In 2012-13, Carson lost a double-digit lead and dropped a 53-49 decision to Hug at Morse Burley Gym in the regional finals. Last year, Galena knocked off Carson, 61-46, in the regional finals at CHS.
“Last year left a bitter taste in our mouths,” Allen said.
Allen & Co. would like nothing more than to return the favor tonight.