Carson is undefeated and Douglas is two games over .500 entering tonight’s (7 p.m.) Sierra League battle.
Doesn’t matter said Carson head boys basketball coach Carlos Mendeguia, who has guided the Senators to a 16-5 overall record and 10-0 in league play.
“It’s a rivalry game,” Mendeguia said. “Douglas doesn’t care if we’re 10-0 or 0-10. They just want to come in here and kick our tails. Records don’t mean anything in this game.
“This will be a grind-it-out game; the way I like it. There are no secrets. We’re mirror images of each other.”
Both teams also are mirror images of their coaches. Both teams stress gritty, in-your-face defense, which is why both have been consistent playoff teams.
“They are undefeated,” said Douglas coach Corey Thacker, whose team is 6-4. “We need to control tempo and play defense. We need to stop them inside. They are very disciplined and they play great defense. They are physical and run well in transition.
“They have been down a few times in the fourth quarter, but end up winning because they never give up.”
“Character is some of it,” Mendeguia said. “A lot of it is attitude. We make practices very intense. We simulate situations that they would face in a real game. We play with a lot of attitude.”
Douglas’ offense is led by Michael Johnson, who averages 14.3 points a contest. After that it drops to Zach Keller at 6.5. Douglas likes to shoot from long range. The Tigers are averaging 16 3-point field goal attempts per contest compared to less than eight for Carson.
“They are a well balanced team,” Mendeguia said. “They like to shoot the 3, but they have a good inside-outside game.”
The Senators have three double-figure scorers in Asa Carter, Jayden DeJoseph and Tez Allen, Jace Keema is the fourth-best scorer on the team. DeJoseph is coming off a 20-point effort against Bishop Manogue in a 62-53 win.
Carson hasn’t shot a ton of 3-pointers this season, but the Senators haven’t needed that phase of their game.
“We like to run our offense and get the best opportunity,” Mendeguia said. “We can hit 3s when we need them. We have a couple of guys that can shoot the three.”
The Carson-Douglas girls game tips at 5:15: At stake is sole possession of third place in the Sierra League behind league-leading Bishop Manogue and Damonte Ranch. Carson and Douglas are 4-6 entering the game.
Barring a nuclear meltdown, both schools will advance to the playoffs because Galena or Wooster have struggled mightily this year.
The game should figure to be low scoring as both teams have had trouble scoring. Douglas averages 41 points a game and Carson is at 39 a contest.
The Tigers rely offensively on Maddy Lowe (14 points per game) and Janae Blue Horse (8 ppg.) for more than half the offense.
Carson, meanwhile, is lead by Ivy Pembrook and Bri Alvarado. Both average 8 a contest. Mallory Otto has given the Senators some spark off the bench.
“It will be a good game,” CHS coach Melissa Larsen said. “We have to play good defense and stop their inside game (Lowe). If we run our offense, push the ball and get into early offense, we’ll be OK.”