With two Division 1 talents on this year’s squad, it is no wonder the Islanders are dominating their opponents. Wayne McKinney and Alex Crawford lead the team in most categories, but it is unselfish play that is making the whole team raise their level of play. Last week the Cagers swept all four games, winning by an average margin of 22 points. The team’s 3-point shooting was phenomenal, sinking a total of 36 ‘threes’ during 3 consecutive games.
On Monday, April 19, the Islanders traveled out to Ramona to take on the Bulldogs. The game started slow, but soon the Islanders found their stroke. Sharpshooter Luke Chisholm sank five 3-pointers to lead the team in scoring with 21 points. Crawford added 20 with his strong inside game. McKinney finished with 12 points. Nolan Rueter and Zach Jackson contributed 8 points apiece as the Islanders easily handled Ramona 78 – 60.
On Tuesday, the Islanders hosted a talented Mount Miguel team who had already beaten Helix, Vahalla, Grossmont and West Hills. Coronado was not intimidated as they jumped out to a seven point lead after one quarter, pushing the margin to 14 points midway through the second. The Matadors clawed back late in the half to cut the lead to 4, 39 - 35 at intermission. In the second half Crawford and McKinney would not be denied and soon the lead was back to double digits. The Islanders cruised to the win 69 – 56 with McKinney leading all scorers with 25 points. Chisholm added 18 and Crawford 13 as Coronado improved to 7-3 on the season.
Wednesday evening brought Steel Canyon to town and the home team treated the fans to excellent basketball all night. The scoring started with Crawford muscling his way inside for 2 followed by a coast to coast lay-in and another fast break bucket. Steele Canyon roared back with 7 straight points to take an early lead. Coronado’s defense tightened with a Jackson block and a McKinney steal. McKinney would score 6 quick points showing off his mid-range jumper. When Ben Lee swished a 3-pointer from the right corner, Coronado was in control, leading 17-11 at the end of the first.
The Islanders stepped on the gas in the second quarter scoring 30 points. Crawford and Joseph Taylor-Pate both had rebound put-backs then the 3-pointers started raining. Chisholm (2), Reuter (2), Jackson, Will Haley and Crawford burned the nets and blew away the crowd. At halftime, the Cougars were reeling, down 47 – 25.
The buckets kept coming in the third. Jackson drained a 3 from the left corner, McKinney sprinted the court for a lay-in and Crawford swished a 3 from the right corner. Chisholm got free on the break for two and Crawford beat the Cougar press with a slam dunk. Donnie Couts made a nifty reverse lay-in and Haley drained another 3-pointer from the left corner to close the third period.
Coronado was cruising and all starters were pulled with 6:39 to go in the game to allow the next 5 some quality playing time. Couts got a lay-up and Taylor-Pate scored 4 straight with a nice inside move and a rebound put-back. Lee showcased his Euro-step floater, was fouled and sank both free throws to close the game. Final score: Islanders 85, Cougars 48. Crawford led Coronado with 31 points, followed by McKinney’s 11. The outstanding team performance was evidenced with 13 three pointers made, 46 rebounds and 11 steals.
On Saturday, April 24, Coronado ended a busy week by beating Clairmont 66-62. The team sits at 9-3 on the season having won 5 in a row and are currently ranked 11th in all of San Diego county.