Carson’s season comes to an end against Coronado
RENO — Carson High’s Cinderella season came to a bitter end Thursday night.
The normally efficient CHS offense, bothered by the length of Coronado’s Jake DesJardins and Kennedy Koehler, turned the ball over 18 times leading to 25 Coronado points. Carson shot an average 38 percent from the floor.
Those two factors were keys in the Senators’ season-ending 53-43 loss to the Cougars in the NIAA Division I state semifinals Thursday night at Lawlor Events Center.
The loss ended Carson’s season at 25-6. It also snapped the team’s 17-game winning streak, and it also was the team’s first loss of the season in a game played in Northern Nevada.
It was a bitter pill to swallow, but certainly didn’t diminish what the Senators were able to accomplish — another Sierra League title and the first regional championship since 1995. They were one of the top four teams in the state.
“We did something special that hadn’t been done in a long time,” said junior forward Tez Allen, who scored 10 points.
“It is a stinger,” said junior swingman Jace Keema. “It doesn’t take away however from so many great accomplishments.”
“We accomplished a lot this season,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “I’m very proud of them. The kids worked hard and the coaches worked hard.”
You could sense frustration in Mendeguia’s voice. This game was there for the taking, but the Senators finally ran out of fourth-quarter magic and weren’t able to dig themselves out of 14-point hole.
“Absolutely (it was a winnable game),” Mendeguia said. “More than anything, I felt we beat ourselves. We made too many mistakes.
“I thought defensively we did a good job of defending the block. They got a lot of points off penetration (to the basket).”
Carson used a quarter-ending 6-0 run to take a 13-9 lead after one. Asa Carter (9 points) converted a three-point play, and Allen converted two straight lay-ups.
“I thought we did a good job of getting the shots we wanted early,” Mendeguia said.
Carson hasn’t been a great second-quarter team this season, and that trend continued on Thursday.
Carson turned the ball over without a shot five straight possessions, didn’t score a point for more than five minutes before Jayden DeJoseph (19 points) knocked in one of his three 3-pointers to end a 12-0 Coronado run. The shot by DeJoseph cut Coronado’s lead to 21-16 at the half. The 3-pointer was Carson’s only score in the quarter.
“We started forcing the ball,” Mendeguia said. “We got away from what we wanted to do. We talked about making the extra pass. Their big guys bothered us. They forced us to take shots we didn’t want to.”
Trey Hurlburt had a 3-pointer and a lay-up in that Coronado surge while DesJardins had a layup and 3-pointer.
“We were trying to do too much,” Keema said. “We didn’t stick with the offense.”
The third quarter wasn’t much better for the Senators.
Coronado went on a 6-0 run thanks to baskets by DesJardins, Koehler and Bryce Savoy to extend the lead to 27-16 with 5:32 left in the third. Carson went 0-for-3 and turned the ball over twice in that span, and both mistakes were converted into points.
Carson closed to 29-20 on a basket by Allen and two DeJoseph free throws, but a 7-0 Coronado made it 36-22 after three. Koehler had five of those points.
The Senators did close to 48-41 on a lay-up and 3-pointer by DeJoseph, but that was the last hurrah.