RENO - Three stats — field goal percentage, free throw percentage and turnovers — told the Carson High story Friday night.
Galena held Carson to an 8-for-27 effort from the floor, the Senators turned the ball over 16 times and the Senators also went 6-for-15 from the line.
Ugly numbers to be sure, and they were the main reasons why Carson dropped a 40-31 decision to Galena in a battle for first place in the Sierra League Friday night.
The Senators fell to 8-3 and into a second-place tie with Bishop Manogue. The teams collide Tuesday in Reno with second place and a home first-round playoff game on the line. Galena improved to 9-2.
The game was tied twice early in the first quarter, but the Grizzlies led the final 27-minutes and 10 seconds, and twice led by double digits.
“Coming down here, we knew we would have to play really well,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “I thought we came out tight tonight. I thought we were prepared. I think our defense helped us stay in the game tonight.
“We work on free throws at practice all the time. To win real big games, you have to make your free throws. Six for 15 isn’t going to cut it. Both teams played hard-nosed defense. There is nothing more to say except they played defense.”
The Grizzlies held Tez Allen to nine and Jayden DeJoseph to seven. Moses Wood made sure DeJoseph didn’t get many open looks, and Dillon Voyles matched up with Allen a lot of the night. It was the first time in league play both Carson stars were held to single digits.
Carson made it close early in the fourth period, cutting Galena’s lead to 27-24 with 5:43 remaining in the contest on a basket by Allen, a putback by Sevon Mandoki and a lay-up by Geraet Rauh.
“We like to push the ball (if the opportunity presents itself),” Mendeguia said. “Galena did a good job of getting back on defense most of the night.”
Galena regained control, scoring nine of the next 11 and holding Carson without a field goal over a four-minute stretch for a 36-26 lead with 1:55 remaining.
Spencer Conaster started the surge with a field goal, Wood it a 3-pointer, Schuyler Louie hit a jump shot and Dillon Voyles (11 points) completed the surge with a jump shot.
Carson missed two shots and committed a turnover in that stretch.
Louie played a big role in the contest, scoring eight of his 10 in the second half. In the first half, it was Stettler Anderson scoring all 10 of his points to lead Galena to a 19-11 halftime edge. On a night where Voyles had 11 (several under his season average) and Wood had just seven, the lesser-named players hurt the Senators. Louie made four straight free throws in the final 78 seconds that helped secure the win.
“They (Galena) stayed away from Jayden and Tez,” Mendeguia said. “They went at our other guys. Anderson had 10 of their 19 in the first half. Their third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh guys stepped up. Louie made a big difference.”
Galena coach Brian Voyles said it was a matter of which team would blink first. He said both teams know each other so well that any tiny change in the game plan could make the difference.
“Just to do something different, because it was hard to score; really hard to score,” he said. “They really bought into the strategy.”
Carson did defend Anderson better, but it wasn’t enough.