Carson’s Matt Nolan and Douglas’ Hunter Myers are rivals during the high school season and teammates during the travel ball season. They both used the term bittersweet when asked about the end to their high school careers.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” Myers said after the Sierra all-stars dropped an 85-78 overtime decision to the High Desert all-stars in the 4th annual LSP Senior All-Star basketball game Wednesday night at Morse Burley Gym. “It’s been fun to play with and against all these guys.”
“I have bittersweet memories,” Nolan said. “It’s been great to play here and end my career here. That was awesome. I’m moving on though, and that is sad.”
Nolan and Myers scored 11 points each in their final area game.
The score was tied at 72 at the end of regulation, and the High Desert stars outscored the Sierra stars 13-6 in the extra 5-minute period to win it.
The Harvard-bound Myers led a late 10-0 run that wiped out a 72-62 High Desert lead and sent the game into overtime. He also had a block of a Sam Williams shot in the last two minutes of the game. Myers had been more of a role player through much of the game, but he got hot and showed his dominant self down the stretch.
Myers’ contributions came on the heels of a 12-4 High Desert run that enabled the eventual winners to build the aforementioned 10-point lead. Damonte’s David Crowley, who also finished with 11 points, scored two baskets in a 90-second stretch that cut the lead to 72-67 with 2:41 left to play. Myers hit a 3-pointer to make it 72-70 with 1:46 left, and following a miss by High Desert’s Sam Williams of Hug, he tied the game with a basket at the 1:12 mark.
“It’s easier to be a facilitator in games like this,” Myers said. “Everybody here wants to play and (score), and I didn’t want to take anything away from everybody else.”
After Myers’ last score in regulation, Williams missed twice and the Sierra squad called time out with 27.3 seconds left in the game.
Galena’s Caleb Wood missed on drive to the basket, and Douglas’ Michael Nolting got the rebound, but was unable to convert the second-chance opportunity.
Carson’s Carlos Mendeguia explained his strategy.
“We wanted to go to a two-man game with a pick and roll,” Mendeguia said. “Caleb (Wood) came off the screen and got off a shot that hit the rim. We got the rebound, but couldn’t put it in.
“There was a lot of talent out there tonight. We had 15 guys, and it was tough trying to get everybody equal time.”
McQueen’s Kody Eckert took over in the extra period for the High Desert stars, scoring 11 en route to his game-high 20.
Leading 74-73 with 3:19 left in the extra period, Eckert had two buckets and 3-pointer to make it 81-73. McQueen’s Deshawn Patterson converted a free throw to stretch the lead to 82-73. Wood scored on a layup and then Nolan converted a three-point play to make it 82-78 with 27.9 left.
Eckert concluded the scoring with a trey right before the buzzer.
The High Desert stars had leads of nine and 12 points, respectively, in the first half before a 14-2 run by the Sierra stars tied the game at 39 at the half. Galena’s EJ Poulsen had two buckets, Wood had a 3-pointer, Carson’s Rafe King added a hoop and Myers added a 3-pointer.
The teams traded baskets to start the second half. With the score tied at 52, the High Desert stars went on a 14-6 run to take a 66-58 lead midway through the half. Patterson had six points to lead the surge. Carson’s Chris Lopez scored four of his seven points in less than a minute to make it 69-62, but Eckert drained a 3-pointer for the 72-62 lead.
That set the stage for the big comeback by the Sierra stars which resulted in the overtime period.
NOTES: King had a tough night shooting and finished with four points, while Nolting had six along with Galena’s Kirk Gunderson. Poulsen and Wood had eight each... Williams backed Eckert’s performance with 19 of his own and Kendall Dewees collected 10 ... Douglas’ Myers won the halftime slam dunk contest.
Elena Thurman said she hadn’t played basketball since Carson High was eliminated from the section playoffs in mid-February, but it wasn’t evident Wednesday night.
Thurman played her usual solid floor game and contributed a basket and free throw to spark a 12-3 run late in the game to help the Blue defeat the White, 82-75, in the fourth annual Local Sports Program Senior All-Star basketball game at Morse Burley Gym.
“It was an enjoyable experience getting to meet all the girls,” said Thurman, who finished with seven points. “I had a lot of fun tonight and it was fun getting to play here (at Carson).”
In the end, it was the Blue squad having too much depth and too much size, according to White coach Craig Holt of Bishop Manogue.
“They were a little too big for us,” Holt said. “They really hurt us inside.”
Especially Spanish Springs’ Lanesha Terrance, who led the Blue team in scoring with 15 points. Fallon’s Cady Cordes and Douglas’ Desiree Cage also enjoyed success inside with eight points apiece.
“I don’t know that we made that good of use of it (size advantage),” said Carson’s Nathan Tolbert, who guided the Blue team to the win. “We were using a four-minute rotation. When the score got close at the end, we still had fresh legs in the game. That’s when we knew we were OK. I was just honored that I was able to coach the team.”
NOTES: The game consisted of two 20-minute halves instead of the usual four 8-minute quarters. Players were also given six fouls instead of five ... Douglas’ Diana Regalado had six points for the Blue squad and Carson’s Maddi Saarem added three.