“Today was for (Jake) Roman,” said Carson head coach Jordan Glover after the Senators secured a 56-53 Sierra League win on their home floor over Damonte Ranch.
In fact, the win is Carson’s first league win since February 9, 2018 when the Senators defeated Douglas at the end of the 2018 season.
“That’s a big team win and I think the team really needed
this one,” said Carson sophomore Parsa Hadjighasemi. “We didn’t feel this last
year. … We have this goal to make playoffs this year and we’re one step closer
At points this season when Carson has had tight games late, Glover has said he’s needed his role players to step into bigger moments and deliver.
Tuesday night, it was Will Breeding and Brandon Graunke that helped seal the victory.
Carson and Damonte Ranch were tied 46-46 after three quarters of play thanks to a drive from Joey Summers for a bucket and a triple from Parsa Hadjighasemi on the wing in transition in the final moments of the third quarter.
A game that had featured a high-tempo scoring pace for most of the action screeched to a halt in the final eight minutes as both teams played through desperation to avoid a loss.
Summers pushed Carson out in front 50-49 with a little over four minutes to go after fighting through contact for a layup.
Out of a Carson timeout, Summers swished home his fifth and final triple of the evening after a dish from Hadjighasemi.
Summers and Hadjighasemi combined for 41 points in the win,
including a Hadjighasemi buzzer-beater to close the opening quarter.
However, Summers’ 3-pointer was the final point from either player.
An impressive take through the lane from Javin Basabas brought Damonte Ranch within two, 53-51.
With 2:39 to go, Breeding had a chance to give the Senators a two-possession advantage at the charity stripe.
Breeding missed both free throws, but the Senators got the offensive rebound to maintain possession.
The misses didn’t linger in Breeding’s mind as he went flying after a loose ball moments later, flinging it behind his back and off a Damonte Ranch defender to keep the Senators in control of possession.
“Will, tonight, was the player of the game,” said Glover. “Will played with no emotion, free and fun and I love how he came out today.”
The Mustangs tied the contest up at 53-53 with 1:11 to go, but Graunke knocked down a free throw to give the Senators the lead once again.
“He knocked down some big free throws and he passed the ball really well,” said Hadjighasemi of Graunke.
Damonte failed to score on its next trip down the floor, forcing the Mustangs to send Nathan Smothers to the charity stripe with 17.3 seconds to play.
The Senator senior captain – who ended the night with 10 points – embraced the opportunity, drilling both free throws to push Carson ahead by three, 56-53.
Damonte Ranch couldn’t score on its final trip and the Senators spilled onto the center of the court in celebration.
In the game’s first quarter, Carson played as efficient as it has played all season, missing no more than two shots in the opening quarter, taking a 22-11 lead in the process.
It was a lightning quick pace and the Senator fans fed on
the energy of several triples from Summers, including two in which he crossed
over his defender before swishing home shots with the defense still reeling.
“Joe has a different game to him as a point guard,” said
Glover. “He’s shifty, he knows how to create for himself and he knows how to
get to the rack and that’s hard to guard.”
The energy stayed throughout the evening even as Carson went nearly eight minutes without a basket from the end of the second quarter to the beginning of the third.
Even with the scoring drought, Carson still lead 35-31 once it got the lid off the hoop.
UP NEXT: The Senators (8-10, 1-2) will get to play on its home floor against Friday against Wooster (5-11, 0-2), looking to turn one league win into two.