Carson High hoops members earn Sierra League honors
Carlos Mendeguia, Carson High’s fiery boys basketball coach, was named Sierra League Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year.
Mendeguia led the Senators to a 7-3 Sierra League mark and a 11-5 overall mark against 4A opponents. Mendeguia has gotten the Senators into the regional finals three times, posting a 1-2 mark.
The Senators’ top two players, Tez Allen (18 points per game and 10 rebounds) and Jayden DeJoseph (16.5 a game) were first-team Sierra League selections.
On the girls side, Freshman Bella Kordonowy was a first-team selection, junior guard Lauren Lemburg was a second-team pick and sophomore Haley Garver was an honorable mention selection.
“As a team, we did a lot better than last year,” said Coach Melissa Larsen. “We are building a basketball program. By the end of the year, the girls were running the offense and having better court sense. They were a hard working team and never gave up.”
Larsen expects big things in the future from Kordonowy, who averaged 12 points per game.
“Bella is a freshman, who can play any position on the court and she is only going to get better,” Larsen said. “She is a versatile, all-around basketball player- can play any position.”
Lemburg, who averaged 12-13 points a game, was the Senators primary three-pointer shooter.
“She loves to play basketball,” Larsen said. “She’s improved on attacking the basket.”
Garver, a sophomore, battled a leg injury for most of the year, but still averaged six points a game.
“Haley was a strong threat in the middle,” Larsen said. “Unfortunately, she was hampered by chronic leg pain.
“She loves attacking the basket and getting rebounds.”
Carson lost just one senior, and the Senators figure to be much improved going into next season.
Manogue’s Carlnel Wiley was named Sierra League Coach of the Year, and Katie Turner and Malia Holt shared Sierra League Player of the Year honors
Kenna Holt and Maddie Camacho of Manogue were named to the first team, Douglas placed Alexa Moss and Hannah Carr on the squad, and Kristen Farrell of Galena and Damonte’s Alexis Wright were also selected.
For the boys, it was a tough season for Carson. The Senators had high hopes when the year started, but those were shattered by injuries to Jace Keema and Greg Wallace, and the loss of Jon Cromer, who moved to Salt Lake City.
Those circumstances forced Carson to use a lot of inexperienced players in bigger roles than expected, and players were forced to play out of position.
Mendeguia was happy to be honored.
“It’s a huge honor when the peers you compete with on a daily basis recognize you and your coaching staff (Dick Lee and Jeremiah Gray),” Mendeguia said. “I thought this was the best job we’ve done as a staff since I’ve been head coach because of all the things (injuries) that happened.
“We had to figure out how to put players in the right spots; make adjustments. Tez was a 4 or 5 last year, and when Jace got hurt (in football), we needed him to run the point most of the time. The kids worked hard and competed.”
The Player of the Year voting came down to Galena’s Dillon Voyles and Allen. Both were deserving. DeJoseph came on strong at the end of the year, scoring 31 in the playoff loss at Reno. Allen and DeJoseph were the best 1-2 punch in the Sierra League.
“Tez stepped up his game this year,” Mendeguia said. “He worked really hard in the off-season (on all phases of his game). He was playing out of position all year and did everything we needed him to do. He almost always took the best player on the other team whether it was a frontcourt guy or backcourt guy.
“If we had all the guys we were supposed to, we could have put Jayden out in the wing and he could have been a true 2 guard. We needed him on the inside; to post up people when we had mismatches. We needed him to play inside and outside.”
Galena placed Moses Wood and Stettler Anderson on the first team, Manogue put Brevon Bansuelo and Aidan Cantwell on the squad, Douglas was represented by Tre Jackson and Drew Damboise from Damonte Ranch was selected.
Carson’s other three starters – Geraet Rauh, Trent Robison and Brandon Gagnon – were also honored. Rauh was a second-team pick, while Robison and Gagnon were honorable mention selections.
DeJoseph and Allen were also named to the all-region team.