For the second time in three days, the Carson High boys basketball team was unable to finish off an opponent.
The Senators, who had a 13-point lead midway through the third quarter, were outscored 41-18 in the second half and dropped a 59-58 decision to Lowry in a non-league game Thursday night at Morse Burley Gym.
The loss dropped Carson to 0-2 on the season. Both losses were by a single point.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier for the Senators, who open league play Tuesday night at Spanish Springs.
“I’d say we played a good first half,” Carson’s first-year coach Jordan Glover said. “It was not the same team in the second half. We got comfortable when we got (a big) lead. We have to take care of the ball and do a better job of playing as a team.
“The biggest thing we talked about before the game was limiting empty possessions (turnovers before getting off a shot). If we have empty possessions we’re not going to be successful.”
No kidding. Carson turned the ball over 13 times leading to 17 Lowry points, which is huge in a 1-point game. Conversely, Lowry turned the ball over 22 times and Carson managed just 14 points.
Carson had taken a 52-50 lead with 3:21 left when Abel Carter converted a three-point play following a steal, layup and free throw. Carson went cold, going scoreless until the final six seconds of the game when Derek Barry drained two 3-pointers.
Lowry did most of the damage from the line, and if the Buckaroos were a better free-throw shooting team, the margin of victory would have been a lot more than one point. Lowry went 5-for-11 from the line in the final three minutes.
Kobe Stoker went 1-for-2 to trim the lead to 52-51. On the ensuing possession, Trent Robison (18 points) had his shot blocked and the ball went out of bounds. Robison would get to the free-throw line on the same possession, but missed both attempts. Lorenzo Mattson scored on a fast break to give Lowry the lead for good, 53-52, with 2:48 left. After Carson’s Jackson Sayre made a turnover, Brendan Domire was fouled and made both free throws at the 2:02 mark. On the ensuing possession, Jordan Torres passed up an open 3-pointer and then was called for traveling.
After Lowry turned over the ball, Sayre missed a shot. There appeared to be contact, but no foul was called. Robison was then called for a technical for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Domire made one of two to increase the lead to 56-52 with 55 seconds left.
Lowry got the ball back, and Domire made another free throw with 39 seconds left after being fouled by Robison.
After a Sayre misfire, Carson was forced to foul and Domire made yet another free throw to make it 58-52 with 22 seconds left. Barry gave Carson some hope with his first trey to make it 58-55, but Stoker dropped in a free throw with six seconds left to make it 59-55.
“I think our zone bothered them,” Lowry coach Chad Peters said. “We jumped in and out, and I think we did a good job of getting our hands up. We were trying to deny No. 12 (Robison) the ball at the free-throw line. He’s a good player. I really like him.”
It was a tough fourth quarter for Robison, who had just one point.
Robison kept trying to attack the basket despite the fact there was nowhere to go. It appeared he was trying to draw fouls, but he didn’t get any calls.
“He was trying to do too much,” Glover said. “He forced some shots. He needs to understand that when he drives and defenses collapse on him there are going to be people open on the wings. He needs to trust his teammates more.”
The Senators’ meltdown actually started midway in the third quarter when Lowry sliced the 38-25 deficit to one, 40-39, after three quarters.
Dorsey Naveran and Mattson did most of the damage.
Naveran made two free throws to make it 38-27 with 3:27 left, and after two Carson turnovers, he converted a three-point play to cut the deficit to 38-30 with 2:52 left.
Carson’s Johnny Randall turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, and Mattson scored on a putback to make it 38-32. After yet another Carson turnover, Domire drained a 3-pointer to make it 38-35. Carson committed its fourth straight turnover without a shot, and Mattson cut the deficit to 1 with 1:12 left.
Dawson Lamb misfired on the next possession, and Naveran gave Lowry a 39-38 lead. Carson led 40-39 after three, but led just once after that.
Domire finished with 17 and Naveran 15.