Jayden DeJoseph didn’t mince any words.
“This was a statement game,” DeJoseph said. “People didn’t think we were going to win this one. We fought hard to win it.”
“It was a huge win,” said junior Trent Robison. “People are going to have to take us serious. We are going to keep getting better.”
With DeJoseph and Robison staking the Senators to a seven-point halftime lead, and Tez Allen scoring 12 second-half points, Carson improved to 6-2 in league play with a 54-51 victory over Bishop Manogue before a big crowd Friday at Morse Burley Gym.
The victory capped a big week for Carson, which knocked off Galena 47-43 on Tuesday. The Senators visit Damonte Ranch on Tuesday at 7.
Just like the Galena game, this one came right down to the wire.
Manogue led 51-50 with 48 seconds left when Gabe Bansuelo scored on a drive to the basket. Carson called timeout with 31 seconds left, and the Senators scored when play resumed on Allen’s nice drive to the basket after a feed from DeJoseph. Allen was fouled on the play, and drained the ensuing free throw to make it 53-51 with 25 seconds left. Robison blocked a shot at the other end, as the Miners went for the tie. Allen made a free throw with 4 seconds left to make it 54-51, and then with time running down, Allen cinched it with a steal. He did the same thing on the last sequence of the Galena game.
It was a strange game for Allen. He had just two points in the opening half, drawing a ton of attention from Manogue defenders. He had several turnovers, because he was trying to force passes into tight openings.
“I think he was trying to do too much,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “He was throwing the ball away. Once he settled down and let the game come to him, he was fine. He does so much for us; bringing the ball up and playing defense. There is more to the game than points.
“We’ve been able to see Manogue quite a bit. They have very good players and there isn’t much they can’t do. They can pressure the ball and shoot the 3. And, they can bring guys off the bench who know how to play the game. I told the kids that they had to rebound well and execute well. I thought at times we didn’t do that (execute) well. I told them there were going to be times when their backs were going to be against the wall.”
The Senators were able to answer every Manogue run with one of their own, and the Miners had their fair share of comebacks, too.
The game was tied four times in the second half — 36, 38, 41 and 45.
Carson did a much better job of defending the 3-point line in the second half. The Senators gave up just two long-range baskets in the final 16 minutes after allowing five in the first half. Part of that success stemmed from Carson defenders staying in front and not allowing constant penetration. Manogue likes to penetrate and dish. It’s what the Miners do best.
The Miners’ defensive strategy was to crowd Allen, and that left DeJoseph and Robison with more room to operate, and the duo took advantage.
Robison and DeJoseph scored six each to give Carson a 14-9 led after one, DeJoseph added eight and Robison seven in the second period to give the Senators the aforementioned lead.
“Right off the bat they were trying to trap Tez,” DeJoseph said. “The guards had to come and help (with the ball), and that left Trent and I free.”
“It was a matchup thing,” Robison said. “I just had to attack it (the basket). I rolled my ankle in the first half, and I was a little slow after that.”
Carson needs a third scorer to complement DeJoseph and Allen, and Mendeguia thinks Robison could be the guy. Robison does a nice job on the offensive glass.
“He is coming around,” Mendeguia said. “He is getting better every game. He is understanding what varsity basketball is.”