Carson boys basketball takes on Coronado in state semifinals |

Carson boys basketball takes on Coronado in state semifinals

Darrell Moody

CARSON (25-5) VS. Coronado (21-4)

When: Thursday, 8 p.m.

Where: Lawlor Events Center

Coaches: Carlos Mendeguia (Carson) and Jeff Kaufman (Coronado)

Probable starters: CARSON — F: Tez Allen (6-3, Jr.) and Jayden DeJoseph (6-4, Jr.); G: Asa Carter (6-1, Sr.); Jace Keema (6-0, Jr.) and Jared Rooker (5-10, Sr.) or Cody Azevedo (5-10, Sr.); CORONADO — F: Jake Desjardins (6-8, Sr.) and Kennedy Koehler (6-6, Jr.); G: Trey Hurlburt (5-9, Jr.), Nick Davis (5-9, Jr.) and Bryce Savoy (6-0, Jr.).

Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for seniors. Carson is sending a rooter’s bus to the game, and the school is covering the $5 admission for students who go to and from on the bus.

Note: Carson High students are being asked to wear white shirts to the game today and will be sitting in sections 6 through 9.

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Carson High’s boys basketball team puts its 17-game win streak on the line tonight (at 8 p.m.) when it plays Coronado in the semifinal round of the NIAA Division I state tournament at Lawlor Events Center.

The Senators, 25-5 overall, haven’t lost since mid-December at the Tarkanian Classic. They rolled through their Northern Division I schedule with a perfect 16-0 season and won three straight playoff games to win their first region title since 1995 and make their first state appearance since 2003.

“I’m proud of these guys,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said after Saturday’s regional final. “They worked extremely hard in the spring and summer. This is a tough group mentally.”

Indeed. Carson trailed in the second half in several games this year, but always played well enough, especially on defense, to squeeze out a victory.

It has been an historic season for the Cougars, too. Coronado went undefeated in league for the second straight year and won the first regional title in school history.

“They are very excited,” Coronado coach Jeff Kaufman said. “We were back in the gym (at 7 a.m. last Saturday) for two practices. We’re ready to go.”

Carson has played some real good teams this year, but Coronado, at least on paper, looks like it could be the best the Senators have faced.

The Cougars boast 6-8 Jake DesJardins (21.1, 9.7), 6-6 Kennedy Koehler (17.7, 14.0), the Comeaux brothers, Tahj and Tiaem, and 6-5 Travis Boman. And, they have some quickness in 5-9 guards Nick Davis an Trey Hurlburt (10.8, 3.1).

“We have five kids that can all shoot the basketball,” Kaufman said.

DesJardins is being recruited by University of San Diego and Long Beach State.

“They are a very balanced team,” Mendeguia said. “Obviously the two post players create (match-up) problems. Both of them can post up and shoot the 3, and players like that create problems for anybody, They don’t have a weakness in their lineup.

“They score in the 70s and 80s. They like to push the ball and they run stuff for Koehler and DesJardins on the perimeter. They don’t have a weakness in their lineup.”

Kaufman said he saw Carson play once when it played at the Tarkanian Classic.

“I also have a couple of former players who are students at Nevada, and they went to a couple of games and sent me reports,” Kaufman said. “I know Carson called some coaches in the area about us, and that doesn’t bother me. Coaches have to make adjustments (once the game starts) anyway.

“Their tallest players (Tez Allen and Jayden DeJoseph) have an inside-outside game.”

Mendeguia said the Cougars will play both zone and man-to-man.

“They like to mix things up,” he said. “They do a good job of keeping teams off balance.”

It will be interesting to see how each team will handle being in a big arena. Shooting backgrounds aren’t always the greatest in big facilities, and none of the state teams got a chance to practice beforehand or play a game there.

“I’m sure there will be some nerves in the first couple of minutes,” Mendeguia said. “After that it shouldn’t be a problem.”