RENO — A perfect 10, and we aren’t talking about Bo Derek.
That would be the Carson Senators, who improved to 10-0 with a 62-53 win over second-place Bishop Manogue Friday night in a Sierra League boys basketball game.
Carson leads the second-place Miners by 3 1/2 games with six games left in the regular season. Manogue plays North Valleys today at the Reno Event Center. Carson hosts Douglas Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“I never looked that far ahead,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “I knew what we were capable of. Going 10-0 in this league is tough. Anybody can beat anybody. We’ve been fortunate, and the ball is rolling our way.
“Manogue is a well-coached team, and they play hard. They had extra incentive. It was their Winterfest and Teacher Night. I knew it was going to be a playoff atmosphere. This is why you play the game. I told the kids to embrace it.”
For sure Jayden DeJoseph and Tez Allen did. DeJoseph scored 20 and Allen added 17. They were too much for the Miners to handle inside.
“I challenged Jayden before the game to get a double-double,” Mendeguia said. “I think this was his best game.”
“I think the team set me up pretty well, and I was able to get my shots,” DeJoseph said.
DeJoseph and Allen were the ringleaders in a nice second-quarter run, and DeJoseph keyed a 9-2 run in the third.
Clinging to a 13-12 lead early in the second quarter, Carson went on a 13-2 run to open up a 26-14 lead.
DeJoseph had the first two baskets in the surge, and then Jared Rooker dropped one in. A putback by Mitch Woods made it 19-14, but a drive by Allen, a trey by DeJoseph and a lay-up by Allen made it a 12-point game midway through the second period. A trey by Aidan Cantwell dropped the deficit to single digits, 30-22, at the half.
“We missed a lot of bunnies (closein shots),” Mendeguia said. “I think we were rushing (the shots) and not locating the basket. I think we should have been up 12 or 13 at the half.”
Manogue wouldn’t go away, however, cutting the lead to 34-30 thanks to 3-pointers by Woods and Brevon Bansuelo, the latter coming with 5:18 left.
“They like to shoot the 3,” Mendeguia said. “They were 15-for-39 their last game. Our game plan was just to try to get a hand up (on the 3s).”
Cody Azevedo drained two free throws, his only points of the game, to make it 36-30. After Cantwell misfired, DeJoseph scored in the paint to make it 38-30.
For the next 1-minute 56-seconds, neither team could find the hoop. DeJoseph got the lead back to double digits, 41-30, with a nice 3-pointer. DeJoseph missed two shots from close range, went out to the corner and buried his second 3-pointer of the game.
After a trey by Cantwell, Asa Carter made it 43-33. The Senators led by eight after three.
“That was not a shot we want him to take, but you like it when it goes in,” Mendeguia said. “We hit a couple of shots in the third quarter, and Jayden’s three was huge.”
The Miners went on a 6-2 run to open the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 45-41 with 6:25 left. Carson was able to get inside, scoring six of the next eight points for a 51-43 lead with 3:37 remaining. Jace Keema had a couple of free throws, while Allen and Carter had a bucket apiece.
Manogue got the deficit down to five again with 1:49 left, but two free throws by Keema and three by Allen got the lead back up to double digits, 58-48. “We needed to play better in the second half,” Manogue coach Ralph Fields said. “Carson has been together for a while. They have played a lot of basketball.”
Conversely, the Miners are young, but have held up well.