CHICO, Calif. - After trailing by 17 in the first quarter, Chico came back to beat Carson 50-49 in overtime.
The Panthers have won six straight games.
Before the game, Chico Head Coach Abe Simmons said the key to the game would be defense.
The Panthers struggled to defend the three early.
Parsa Hadjighasemi drilled four triples in the first quarter to help Carson to a 24-7 lead.
Slowly but surely Chico cut into that lead in the second. Jaiden Henry knocked down back-to-back triples. Later, Phil Bernardez made a layup and one.
Chico only trailed 32-27 at the half.
The Panther's defense came alive in the second. Odin Nielsen scored two easy points off a steal. The defense held Carson to just six points in the third quarter.
They still trailed until Alex Padilla nailed a three with 10 seconds left in regulation. That sent the game to overtime tied at 47.
Neither team scored in the first four minutes of overtime. Padilla came in clutch again for the Panthers, making a three from the corner. That gave Chico its first lead of the game, 50-47.
Chico plays in the Panther Showdown Championship Saturday at 2:30 p.m.