With the first league game just a day away, Carson High boys basketball coach Carlos Mendeguia doesn’t have a good read on his team, and that’s not surprising when you consider he’s only had his full team for less than three weeks.
“It’s too early,” said Mendeguia, whose team opens its 2014-15 home schedule with crossover games against Spanish Springs and Hug (Thursday and Friday). “We’ve played three games, and it’s not enough to see what we have. We didn’t get the football players until late November, and they are now starting to get into basketball shape (and relearning things that they haven’t done since the summer).
“Spanish Springs does a lot of the same things that we do, so it’s like playing a mirror image of ourselves. They will play some 1-2-2, and we’ll see some trap and some man-to-man. They have played seven or eight games. Hug has a new coach. They have a lot of their football players out, so they are going to be athletic and active, and they will disrupt you defensively.”
Since going 1-2 at the Elko tournament, Mendeguia said he’s been spending more time on defense than anything else.
“I’m a defensive oriented coach, so 90 percent of the time we spend on defense,” Mendeguia said. “That is what I want us to hang our hat on. Obviously I want us to be able to execute on offense, but defense will carry you through.”
Spanish Springs (2-5) is led by sophomore Marcus Loadholt, who played varsity as a freshman. Loadholt is averaging 15.7 points a game, The next best scorer is Jake Prinza, who is averaging 7.6. After that there is nobody above 4.5 a game. All but one of the 12 players are averaging at least 2.3 a game.
That shows the Cougars have a little depth, but Mendeguia has said since Day 1 that Carson is 10 deep. Whether that pans out when league games start remains to be seen. Mendeguia has yet to divulge his starting line-up, but you know it will usually include Cameron Price and Kyle Steele, the team’s top two scorers. Asa Carter has also played well since football ended. Sophomores Jayden DeJoseph and Tez Allen have produced well in the early going.
Carson gears up for RTOC
Fresh off a third-place finish at last week’s Louck Memorial in Winnemucca, Carson faces an even stiffer challenge at this weekend’s Reno Tournament of Champions at the Reno Events Center.
A total of 100 teams from 14 states — California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, New York and Wyoming — are entered. Besides Carson, Fallon, Damonte Ranch, Wooster, Lowry, McQueen, Reed, Reno, Spanish Springs, Spring Creek and Yerington are entered.
Coach Paul Carter has two undefeated wrestlers from his starting lineup entering the event — Brady O’Keefe (145) and Brady Rivera (215). He is hoping both get seeded, but he also admitted that it’s tough to get seeded in this event because of its nationwide appeal. Brandon Basa has lost just twice this year, both times to state champ Ian Timmins of Wooster.
“Both Bradys are undefeated,” Carter said before Tuesday’s practice. “Rivera is a three-time state qualifier and O’Keefe has had some success at some national junior tournaments. Those are the best shots to get seeded. I’m hoping for Nolan (Shine), too. I’m not holding my breath, though. We’ll find out when we get there.”
Carter announced his line-up for the event. He is leaving 106 vacant, Basa is at 113, Casey Stevens at 120, Spencer Rogers at 126, Nathan Mersino at 132, Kellen McDermott at 138, O’Keefe at 145, Shine at 152, Abel Carter at 160, Michael Freeman at 170, Connor Sievers is at 182, Corey Jasper at 195, Brad Rivera at 220 and Sheldon Miller at heavyweight.
Rogers, Mersino, Shine, Abel Carter and Sievers are all dropping a weight for this event, and coach Carter believes these weights will be what the wrestler will wrestle at come regionals. Sievers beat Kevin Rusler in a wrestle off earlier this week.
“Guys tend to wrestle better at the lower weight,” Carter said.
Carson home for two
The Senators, 3-3 overall and 0-2 in league, are looking to even their league record with home games against Spanish Springs (Thursday) and Hug (Friday). Both games tip at 5:15 p.m.
Spanish Springs enters the contest at 1-7 after going 0-3 at a tournament in California last weekend. Hug is 3-2 entering Thursday’s game.
The Cougars won their opener against Wooster and have dropped seven straight. The Cougars have been bothered by injuries and have had just two full-squad practices thus far, according to coach Art Cardenas. The Cougars lost three games by 31 points over the weekend.
Carson has had about a week off since its narrow loss to Reed.
Maddie Preston is Carson’s leading scorer at 11.6 followed by Ivy Pembrook at 7.5 and Michelle Perry at 6.2. Carson has struggled from the 3-point line, sinking just 15 of 81 in six games.