Carson High varsity teams face busy week
It may be finals week, but Carson High’s varsity teams will be extremely busy.
Carson’s boys basketball team, riding a six-game winning streak and owners of the Rail City championship, travels to the Jerry Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas for the first time. The Senators, 7-2, faces Cathedral Catholic-San Diego at 9:20 p.m. Thursday at Desert Oasis High School.
On Friday, Carson’s wrestling team, coming off a second-place finish at the Loucks Invitational in Winnemucca, will take part in the prestigious Reno Tournament of Champions at the Reno Events Center. The two-day event starts Friday at 9 a.m.
Also on Friday, Carson’s girls basketball squad, 0-2 in league and 1-4 overall, visits Hug at 5:15 p.m. in a D-1 crossover game. On Saturday, CHS visits Spanish Springs at 11:30 a.m.
When CHS boys coach Carlos Mendeguia started putting together his schedule for the 2015-16 season, he wanted to challenge his veteran team, both physically and mentally. It started with a tough three-day tournament at Archbishop Riordan in San Francisco, and then the Senators played six games in four days (Rail City Classic and two crossover games). The locals won all six and boast a 7-2 record.
And now, CHS is in for its biggest challenge yet.
Cathedral Catholic, a top-tier team in San Diego, is 1-2 after playing in the prestigious Father Barry Invitational at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, Calif. The Dons boast 7-foot 245-pound Brandon McCoy in the middle. He is averaging 19 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.0 blocks. He is complemented by 6-5 forward Austin Beech, who is averaging 18.5 and shooting 61 percent from the floor. Cameron Moore averages 9 points and 5.3 assists a contest while Reid Johnson averages 6.7 a contest.
Mendeguia was trying to obtain film on Cathedral Catholic Monday afternoon. He said that playing in Las Vegas will be a good experience win or lose.
“The whole purpose was to challenge our kids as much as possible,” he said. “We will see some good teams, and the kids will get a chance to see some of the top players in the nation; players that will be playing at the next level or beyond. It is always fun to see that type of talent.”
The states of Nevada, California, South Carolina, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, Florida, Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Connecticut and Arizona will send teams. There also are teams from Australia, the Bahamas and New Zealand participating.
Mendeguia’s main concern entering the event is keeping turnovers down. The Senators, despite winning six in a row, made far too many mistakes.
“We need to learn how to value the basketball,” Mendeguia said. “A lot of times we’re picking up our dribble even though there is just token pressure; we’re giving up the dribble too early. Our point guards are always going to lead in turnovers because they have the ball in their hands so much. We may have our 4s (Jayden DeJoseph) or 5s (Tez Allen) bring the ball up sometimes. All five of our starters are capable of doing that, and all five can score in double figures.”
Carson’s best player to date has been Asa Carter, who has shaken off a shoulder injury suffered in the regional football finals. Carter scored in double figures all six games last week, including 25 in the Rail City title game against Placer.
“He takes pride in his defense,” Mendeguia said. “He is a good scorer in the open floor, too.”
Carter is an effective shooter from the 15-to 18-foot range, and when teams try to press Carson, he can get to the basket and finish.
The Senators have gotten consistent scoring from Tez Allen, Jayden DeJoseph and Jace Keema. Allen and DeJoseph were all-tournament selections at the Rail City Classic. Kyle Krebs and Ian Schulz have given the Senators positive minutes off the bench.
The Senators had nine wrestlers place in the top six, including second-place finishes by Brandon Basa, Terin Keller, Brady O’Keefe and Cameron Sievers, at Winnemucca last weekend. Carson finished second overall to Spanish Springs.
Justin Shine has already submitted his line-up for the tournament, and there is some shifting around of weight classes.
Keller continues to be the starter at 106, but Basa is dropping down to 113 this weekend. Kyle Rudy takes his slot at 120 and Zach Bumby, one of the heroes of the Damonte Ranch duel, will be at 126. Jake Roman is at 132, Nathan Mersino is at 138 and Brady O’Keefe is at 145. Kellen McDermott is at 152, Jarod Butler is at 160, Abel Carter is at 171, Kevin Rusler is at 182, Sievers is at 195, Corey Jasper is at 220 and Sheldon Miller at heavyweight. Butler had the other key win against DR last week.
On paper, it would seem that Basa and O’Keefe would have the best shots to reach the second day.
“A lot depends on the draw,” Shine said. “Sheldon struggled a bit over the weekend, so we’ll see how he does.”
The Senators, after losses to Reno and Reed, are looking for their first league win. The best shot would appear to be against winless Hug, which is also 0-2 in league.
Turnovers have hurt Carson in just about every game, so points have been tough to come by.
Bri Alvarado has been Carson’s best scorer. Ivy Pembrook has shown a lot of aggressiveness inside despite giving up several inches to opposing players. Carson needs somebody to complement Alvarado from the outside.