Islander Boys Basketball ...

Junior basketball standout Wayne McKinney is averaging 28 points per game this season. The Islanders are 14-9 overall.

The most recent chapter in the ongoing rivalry between the Point Loma and Coronado High Boys Basketball teams was written last Tuesday, as the Islanders emerged with a 49-47 road win over the Pointers. One of the most unusual aspects of the game is the Islanders scored just three points in the first quarter and were outscored 10-3. In the second quarter, Coronado bounced back with a 21-6 scoring advantage to give them an eight-point halftime lead.

According to Islander Head Coach JD Laaperi, his team was getting good looks at the basket, but nothing was falling. “Not only did we score just three points in the first quarter this year, when we played Point Loma last year, we scored just four points in the fourth quarter and lost by two points at home. This time a year ago, we got tight coming down the stretch. This year we had good shots, but our only scoring in the first quarter was on a put-back layup and a free throw. We just couldn’t hit any shots. Defensively we turned them over a few times to keep them at 10 points in the first. If we hadn’t created some turnovers, we probably would have been down 16-3, which is a totally different deal in that environment. In the second quarter, we tightened up some things on defense and just started hitting shots. Mike Cunningham had eight of his 10 points early in the game to keep us in it. Wayne McKinney started to get going after scoring just one point in the first and finished with 29. We ended the first half on a good note, when Wayne stole the ball with four seconds left and went coast-to-coast and hit a layup to give us a 24-16 lead.”

Laaperi described the events from the second half. “In the third quarter, we basically traded baskets, although they cut our lead to six points. Wayne hit four threes in the third quarter. Every time Point Loma hit a three, he would hit one. Defensively they sagged off of Wayne three or four feet because they couldn’t stop him from getting to the basket. His first three-pointer hit nothing but net, and when they continued to sag off of him, he just hit threes over them.”

The fourth quarter got interesting, according to Laaperi. “Point Loma hit a couple of threes and ultimately cut our lead to one point. With 45 seconds to go, Wayne drove the lane, missed and Dane Hansen tipped it in to put us up by three points. So Dane had the winning basket. He’s starting to feel comfortable on the court and he’s sharing playing time with our other two bigs Jack Westphal and Kieran Ashley. Against Point Loma Hansen had a couple of blocked shots and the tip-in. We have the luxury with our big men to pick from the best match-up on any given night. Also, Ryan Hoyt played seven minutes in the fourth quarter and he had a couple of big steals. One was with three minutes left in the game, that led to a layup that put us up by five points. Later when we were up by three, he stole an inbound pass and those steals were pivotal plays. He probably has the best motor of anyone on our team and he gives everything he has when he’s on the floor. Tuesday night he rewarded himself with those two steals.”

As for the crowd at Point Loma, for a Tuesday game that started at 5 p.m., Laaperi noted, “We didn’t know what to expect. Point Loma sold out their side and other than a small area, our side was also sold out.”

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