FLINT TWP. — Nothing has come easy for Carman-Ainsworth in Big Nine Conference basketball this season.
While the Cavaliers have five double digit victories in their 11-4 overall record, they’re 3-1 in the conference, with no win by more than nine points.
The latest was a 53-46 victory over Flushing last Friday, in which the Cavs trailed, 9-7, after one quarter and still led by only four points early in the fourth. A 7-0 run finally put the pesky Raiders away for the second time this season. Carman survived the first meeting, 50-47, on Jan. 14.
The Cavs surged ahead in the most recent game with a 16-6 second quarter that gave them a 23-15 halftime lead. But Flushing battled right back with a 20-15 third quarter that pulled the Raiders within 38-35 going into the final eight minutes.
It was still a game at 44-40 before Carman scored seven straight points, six of them by Denzel Watts, to make it 51-40.
Watts finished with 22 points and Anton Wilson scored 13. Each hit three 3-pointers. Cameron Morse added eight points on a pair of 3- pointers, as Carman shot long over the Raiders’ 2-3 zone defense.
The victory set up a showdown with Powers Catholic for the league championship Friday at Carman- Ainsworth. The fourth-ranked Class B Chargers beat the Cavs, 62-48, at Powers on Jan. 21.
Even if they beat Powers, the Cavs would still have to win at Davison on Feb. 25 against a team that nearly beat them at Carman on Jan. 28.
Carman had two non-league games sandwiched around the Flushing game. The Cavs beat Flint Northwestern, 65-52, on Feb. 1 to go to 2-0 against Flint city teams. They’ll try to complete a city sweep next Tuesday at Southwestern.
At Northwestern, Carman fell behind, 13-12, after one quarter, but took control with a 16-5 second period to go up, 28-18, by halftime. The Cavs edged further ahead with an 18-16 third quarter to lead, 46-34, going into the final quarter. A 19-18 fourth put away the 13-point victory.
Watts led the Cavaliers with 26 points and Wilson had 21. Gerald Holmes pitched in eight points and Morse had six.
Carman whipped No. 5 Class C Saginaw Buena Vista, 72-57, Tuesday. Watts poured in 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting, Wilson scored 12 and Morse added 11. The Cavs won every quarter to steadily pull away, starting with a 20-16 first period. It was 39-28 at halftime and 58- 46 after three periods.