Carson boys struggle, but pull out win
RENO — Calling all cars. Calling all cars. Be on the lookout for the Carson High boys basketball team last seen in a school bus on Highway 580 North.
The team that took the floor Tuesday night against Damonte Ranch was nowhere the same group that pulled off two big wins at home over Galena and Bishop Manogue, respectively, to take over a share of first place in the Sierra League last week.
Instead, the Senators made a ton of mental and physical errors and faltered at the line, but they managed to escape with a 47-41 victory.
Carson, 7-2 in league along with Galena, made four of five free throws in the final 11 seconds to put the game away. All four were by Jayden DeJoseph, who led all scorers with 25 points.
Missed free throws earlier cost CHS a chance to put the game away much earlier.
“I didn’t recognize the team that was out there tonight to be honest,” Mendeguia said. “We tried to warn the guys before the game. Any league game; any league game on the road is not going to be easy. Damonte outplayed us. They played harder; played more inspired basketball. We didn’t come in prepared.
“Free throws are mental. In a close game it gives you a chance to show what you’re made of. You have to have confidence that you can go out there and knock them down.”
This one, like the battles against Galena and Manogue, came down to the final minute.
Damonte led just once in the second half, 24-23 with 5:37 left in the third. There was also one tie, too, Other than those two instances, Carson led the rest of the second half.
The teams were never separated by more than five or six points the final 16 minutes.
Tez Allen scored with 3:44 left to give the Senators a 39-33 lead, but that’s where Carson lost its grip on the game.
A drive by Drew Damboise and a putback by Thomas Wright made it 40-37 with 1:44 left.
DeJoseph scored on a lay-up to make it 42-37, but Allen missed once, and then never got a chance to take the second because Sevon Mandoki backed out of the free-throw area after Allen had the ball.
Damboise converted a three-point play to make it 42-40 with 56.2 left.
Damboise scored 19, and was a thorn in Carson’s side all night.
“Drew is a handful,” Mendeguia said. “We knew they had two or three weapons that could hurt us.”
Forced to foul, Damonte fouled Allen, who managed just one of two to make it 43-40 with 39.8 left.
Damboise missed on the ensuing possession, but it didn’t cost the Mustangs anything because Allen lost the ball out of bounds with 24.8 remaining.
Damboise had a chance to tie it on the next possession, but misfired. After the miss there was a scramble for the ball, and Carson came away with it, calling timeout when possession was secured,
DeJoseph hit two free trows to make it 45-40. Allen fouled Damboise, who made one of two. to make it 45-41. DeJoseph closed it out with two more free throws.
“It was a lot closer than I expected,” DeJoseph said. “I feel like we didn’t have the right mindset coming off two straight tough wins. We were overconfident.”
DeJoseph went 9-for-11 at the line, but Allen was just 2-for-4, and he’s much better than that. Trent Robison missed both of his attempts.
Mendeguia pointed out after the game if you’re going to be involved in close games and win close games, you have to knock down free throws.
And, Carson figures to be battling Manogue and Galena for the top two spots in the Sierra League.