The City League portion of the Islander Boys Basketball Team’s (11-9 overall record, 2-0 in league) season began last week, and Coronado responded to the challenge with a 62-49 home win over University City (UC) Tuesday, followed by a 70-48 road win Friday night at Hoover. The UC game played Tuesday, Jan.14 came after the Islanders hadn’t played since Jan. 4 and they looked rusty for the first quarter, although they did lead the Centurions 16-15 at the end of the first frame. Team scoring leader Wayne McKinney went scoreless for the first 7:15 of the game, before scoring on a driving layup.
But the Islanders and McKinney came alive in the second quarter, where Coronado outscored UC 17-8. McKinney scored 11 of the Islanders 17 points, including an emphatic left-handed dunk at the 2:40 mark that energized both his team and the home crowd. McKinney stands roughly 5-10 and he had plenty of vertical room to spare when he threw down the dunk in traffic.
In anything, the Islanders were even better in the third quarter, winning that stanza 21-9. By this point in the game McKinney was well on his way to scoring 27 points on the night, to go with six rebounds, three assists, a steal and one blocked shot. University City mounted a run in the fourth quarter, cutting the Islanders lead to 13 points at the end of the game, but the Islanders had more than enough to finish off the victory.
Mike Cunningham had a fine outing from his shooting guard position, scoring 15 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and three steals. Jake Hacker added eight points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot; Ryan Hoyt scored four points to go with three rebounds and an assist; Dane Hansen scored four points and grabbed three rebounds; and Kieran Ashley had a basket and a rebound. Although he only scored one basket, senior post player Jack Westphal had a great night, particularly on the defensive end of the court, with nine rebounds, one assist, one blocked shot and six stitches after the game to close a cut on his chin. Westphal, who was injured in the second quarter was patched up by Islander Trainer Arielle Luna, was able to compete and play well in the second half.
Islander Head Coach JD Laaperi said of the game, “In the third quarter we really played well. We scored on five of our first seven possessions. We were able to turn a 10-point game into a 20-point game. We talked about that at the half. We wanted to maintain the momentum of the second quarter and win the first four minutes of the second half. I thought (Islander Assistant Coach) Sandy Dillon did a great job changing defenses, between man, zone and a press with three minutes to go. Cunningham made a nice pass to McKinney for the dunk. In the fourth quarter, we got away from some of the good things we did in the second and third quarters and a lopsided game turned into something closer than it should have been. University City is the second or third best team in the league and I thought we did a good job defensively on their three-point shooters. Westphal did a tremendous defensive job on their big kid, working early in the possession, getting in front of him. McKinney and Cunningham carried the load offensively, but Westphal was just as important defensively.”
Then it was on to Hoover and the Cardinal played the first half close, trailing 39-33, but the Islanders took the second half 31-15. Probably the most relevant statistic from the game was the Islanders shot 65 percent from the floor for the game. Laaperi said, “Mike Cunningham shot 8-10 and scored 20 points, while Wayne McKinney was 14-18 from the field and he scored 35 points. Our offensive efficiency was by far the best of any single game we played this year. Jack Westphal scored eight of his 12 points in the first quarter to keep us in the game when Hoover was hot. Hoover decided to pick up Wayne with full-court pressure. In the second quarter, we consistently got the ball inbounded and back to Wayne and he was at full speed 60 feet from the basket. He converted a wide array of finishes at the basket. With six minutes to go in the game, he had 35 points and he cramped up. He played for just a couple of more minutes. Cunningham had 12 points and six rebounds; Jake Hacker had six assists, and Jack Westphal did a great job defensively ion Hoover’s big man. Jack again worked hard early in the possessions and limited his touches.” This week the Islanders host Mira Mesa Tuesday at 5 p.m. and Friday they travel to Patrick Henry for a 7:30 p.m. game, which is the back end of a Girls-Boys doubleheader featuring the Islanders and the Patriots which starts at 6 p.m.