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Mesa wins hoops opener, but not without scare from Gilbert

November 23, 2010 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

It was not a vintage Jahii Carson night Tueday  for Mesa High as it opened the 2010-2011 boys basketball season at its annual Fear the Hop Tournament at Jackrabbit Gym.

With help - lots of it - from Desmond Medder and turn-up-the-heat pressure in the second half, the Jackrabbits escaped a game upset bid from unheralded Gilbert High, 60-52.

Medder finished with a team-high 19 points and scored his final five points in succession to break a 52-52 tie in the final three minutes. Medder, however, suffered an ankle sprain going for a rebound in the final 40 seconds and had to be helped off the floor. His status for Wednesday night's semifinal with Desert Ridge is questionable.

Carson and Medder both struggled with foul trouble and sticky defense in the first half from Gilbert guards Cody Martin and Vince Guido. Add the sharpshooting and slick offensive game of Erik Crawford and the Tigers were able to build a 37-21 lead at halftime. They lead by as many as 18 points a couple of times.

Foul trouble torpedoed Gilbert's chance to pull off the upset as Crawford, Martin and Guido sat a good portion of the third period with four fouls each. That's when Mesa made its run and outscored Gilbert, 26-9.

Carson finished with 17 points. The ASU-bound senior guard scored just four in the first half and did not have a field goal.

If that game was any indication, the 5A-I boys hoops season may be a wild and exciting ride to latch on to.