Carson boys down Damonte Ranch
It was a perfect night for the Carson Senators.
Prior to the game, the playing surface at Morse Burley Gym was officially christened Tom Andreasen Court, and then the Senators completed a magical night with a 59-53 come-from-behind victory over Damonte Ranch Friday night.
And the news got even better after the game, as Galena knocked off Bishop Manogue, throwing the Senators and Miners into a tie for second place at 10-4.
According to Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia, if Carson and Manogue both win out, Carson would get the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game because of its win over Galena. The Miners were swept by Galena.
“This was huge,” said Tez Allen, who scored 20 points. “We want to be home for the playoffs.”
It was Allen, who led a game-ending 7-0 Carson run over the final 4-minutes 2-seconds to wipe out a 53-52 deficit.
Brandon Gagnon came up with a steal at the top of the key and fed Allen, who scored on a lay-up to make it 54-53 with 2:38 left. After Nyaablia Apambire (19 points) misfired, Taylor Saarem scored from close range making it 56-53. Apambire was called for traveling, and Allen dropped in two free throws to make it a two-possession game, 58-53, with 1:44 remaining.
Neither team scored until 41.6 remained when Geraet Rauh dropped in a free throw for the final points of the hard-fought contest.
It was an ugly fourth quarter for the Mustangs.
Some of it can be attributed to good Carson defense, and some of it can be attributed to poor shot selection. The Mustangs went 0-for-5 down the stretch, and four of the misses were by Apambire. Damonte also turned it over three times, and Carson converted those mistakes into four crucial points.
“I think our rotation got better in the fourth,” Mendeguia said. “I thought we clamped down on them in the fourth quarter. I think they were tired.
“Their bench wasn’t really deep tonight. In a game like this, every turnover and every shot is big. We were fortunate enough to get a couple of stops, and we were able to pull the ball out (and force them to foul). You want to be the team that goes on a run at the end of the game.”
Apambire managed just two field goals in the fourth quarter, one with 7:03 left and he had the Mustangs’ final bucket with 4:02 remaining.
“He can elevate like nobody else in the league,” said Allen, who had that defensive assignment in the second half after switching off Drew Damboise. “He gets the shot off quick, and he’s tough to stop.”
“He (Apambire) is a really good player, but he’s not known to be a consistent scorer. He is very streaky. He hits a couple and gets confident, but if he misses a few …. He hit some big 3-pointers (early),” Mendeguia said.
Mendeguia also gave props to Rauh, who guarded Drew Damboise most of the second half. Damboise got 18, but just six in the second half.
“Geraet did a great job defensively,” Mendeguia said. “That is one of the best defensive games he’s played this year. Damboise is one of the best point guards in the north.”
Rauh also contributed a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, which gave the Senators a short-lived 52-51 lead with 5:01 left.
Apambire gave the Mustangs their last lead of the game, 53-52, at the 4:02 mark with a jump shot.
Allen was held scoreless in the first half against Manogue, but he got off to a quick start against the Mustangs by scoring seven of Carson’s first nine points.
“We go as Tez goes,” Mendeguia said. “We depend a lot on him, and even when he’s not scoring, he’s facilitating. He sees a lot of double teams.”
Mendeguia noted the teams traded surges throughout the game.
Carson opened the game with an 8-2 run and Damonte closed out the first half with a 12-4 run to take a 30-25 lead into the intermission.
Carson opened the second half with a 12-4 run, as Jayden DeJoseph scored five points.
Damonte bounced back with a 10-4 run for a 44-40 lead after three. Apambire had five in that run for the Mustangs.
The teams traded baskets for the first four minutes of the final period before the Senators went on their game ending surge.
“It was a game of runs,” Mendeguia said.
“They are high school kids. It’s tough to maintain that (all the time).”