Carson High had a tough time escaping Wooster with a win earlier this year.
This time, Carson barely broke a sweat.
The red-hot shooting Senators outscored Wooster 28-2 over a stretch of 7-plus minutes of the first half and coasted to a 66-41 Sierra League win Tuesday night at Morse Burley Gymnasium.
Carson improved to 11-4 in league play and remains tied with Bishop Manogue for second place behind Galena, which lost to Douglas and fell to 12-3. The Senators close out the regular season Friday at Douglas, and the Senators need a win or a Manogue loss to earn the No. 2 seed and a home playoff opener Tuesday night.
“It is what it is,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said of Friday’s matchup. “It is a rivalry game, and people get excited about it. It has always been a tough place to play. There have been times when we’ve been down and beat them, and there have been times when we’ve been up and they’ve beat us. The records don’t mean anything.
“I expect it to be a dogfight. We are going to have to play really well to grab a win.”
Conversely, Carson didn’t have to do much to handle Wooster.
Wooster had the lead just once, 3-2, with about 4:35 left in the opening quarter. The Colts, thanks to some poor shooting and good Carson defense, didn’t score another point until the 6:05 mark of the second quarter. The Colts went 0-for-8 in that stretch and turned the ball over five times.
By that time, Carson had built up a 24-5 lead, thanks to 10 first-quarter points from Jayden DeJoseph, who finished with 16, second to Tez Allen’s 21.
Brandon Gagnon started the surge with a lay-up, and then DeJoseph had a 3-pointer and a breakaway flush to make it 9-3. Carson finished the quarter with eight straight, six by Allen and two more on a putback by Trent Robison for a 17-3 lead.
“We shot it well early,” Allen said. “Jayden got going early, and that helped open things up.”
Allen opened the second quarter with a lay-up, Taylor Saarem knocked down a 3-ball from the right corner and Allen scored on another lay-up to make it 24-3. After two Wooster free throws, Robison scored on another put back, DeJoseph knocked in another 3-ball and Allen drained a free throw for a 30-5 advantage. Wooster broke a 10-minute field goal drought when Myster Smith scored on a jump shot with 2:01 left in the half. Geraet Rauh scored back-to-back 3-pointers and DeJoseph scored again to make it 38-10 at the half.
Carson shot 71 percent from the field (15-for-21), and the Senators could have led by a lot more and even got it to running time had it not been for 12 turnovers in the first 16 minutes.
“Oh yeah (it was a concern),” Mendeguia said. “We talked about pushing the ball in transition. That didn’t mean turn the ball over. We were trying to force things at times; make the perfect pass. In the second quarter, I thought we cleaned things up a bit.
“We thought with Jayden, Tez and Geraet we could create lanes to the basket and create opportunities because they all could get to the rack. I think that’s why we shot so well from the field. We had some good, open looks.”
And, don’t overlook the defensive effort. The Colts went 3-for-20 from the floor in the opening half.
“I thought we did a great job on defense,” Mendeguia said. “Geraet has really stepped up the last two games, and he’s become the defender we need him to be. We can put him on the No. 1 threat and give Tez a breather sometimes.”
Ben Ginn torched Carson for 27 points in the first meeting, and Mendeguia had Allen on him. Rauh had Myster Smith.
“He (Ginn) had 27 the first time and Smith only had 11,” Mendeguia said. “We still respect Smith as a player, but I thought Tez can create problems for Ginn; that Ginn would have a tough time shooting over Tez because Tez is bigger and stronger than Geraet.”
Smith finished with 17 and Ginn 12, but both padded their stats against Carson reserves in the second half.
Wooster needed stops to put a dent in Carson’s lead, and the Colts were unable to do that.
The teams essentially traded points in the third quarter which ended with Carson ahead by 29 points. Carson briefly had 31-pont leads, but never reached running time.
Sevon Mandoki gave the Senators a spark in the fourth quarter with six straight points which boosted Carson’s lead to 60-29 with 4:51 left. Wooster never got closer than 24 points the rest of the way.