Tough Schedule Continues For Coronado Boys Basketball Team - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

Tough Schedule Continues For Coronado Boys Basketball Team

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Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2019 10:15 am

With an influx of talent to the Boys Basketball Team (3-5 overall record) this season, Islander Head Coach JD Laaperi beefed up his non-conference schedule considerably to include some challenging tournament games. Unfortunately Dane Hansen, a 6-9 transfer from Mission Vista High School, who when healthy plays above the rim, has an injured shoulder and hasn’t been able to play for the Islanders yet this season.

As a result, Coronado has encountered some Top 10 teams so far and this week they have road games against three good programs including Tri-City Christian, La Jolla and West Hills. Last week was no cake walk either, as they lost to Carlsbad 75-62, lost to Oceanside 72-62 and then defeated Madison 65-41, with all three of those contests being road games. 

Laaperi took us on a tour of last week’s games. “At Carlsbad Wednesday night we were up 16-11 in the first quarter and with a minute to go they went on a quick six-point run. In the second quarter, with a minute and a half left, we had a two-point lead and they scored the last six points, so we were down four at the half. We were the better team for 14 of the 16 minutes in the first half, but we had a four-point deficit. They have a good guard and he got hot and scored 14 points in the third quarter. We won the fourth quarter, but the third quarter did us in. Taking the game as a whole, our kids probably played as well as they have played all year, against the best team we have faced all year. Once again, playing against a bigger school, they can throw guys who are 6-8 and 6-9 against us. Mike Cunningham had 21 points and Wayne McKinney had 19 points and six assists. They guys seemed down after the loss and they’re still searching for their signature win this season. We made a run in the fourth quarter in a game we felt like we could compete in.”

Next up was Oceanside in a game that was played at La Jolla. “Their game plan is to pick you up full court, ride the kids, hold and grab. The game was physical, and our kids responded unlike any team I have ever had. For the most part, we were in the game until the very end. With 45 seconds left, we were down three points with the ball and a chance to tie the game. We missed the shot and had to foul to get the ball back. We wound up losing by 10 points. It was a one possession game for most of the night. They had their football players back (from the CIF Playoffs) and they are big and strong. If they got anywhere near the basket, they were taking our kids up with them. McKinney had 31 points, including 14-17 from the free throw line. He was our only player in double figures. We started sophomore Luke Chisholm, based on his effort in practice, to give us a little more length at guard. He had nine points and played a heck of a game.”

Next up was Madison and according the Laaperi, the Islanders came to play. “We played hard and we built our lead every quarter. We were up seven points in the first quarter and 11 at the half. And it got to 19 or 20 points in the third quarter. We got some guys into the game in the fourth quarter who hadn’t played much, and the others got to rest. McKinney scored 27 points, Cunningham had 10 and Ryan Hoyt scored 10 points.

Another addition to the team is freshman Nolan Reuter, who as proof it’s a small world, transferred in from my hometown of Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Laaperi said of Reuter, “He has played well and is playing 16 or 18 minutes a game. He has hit a couple of big shots every game, has taken care of the ball, and played valuable minutes. Nolan has played a major role and is among the three or four guys who normally come in off the bench for us. I like to run him and Wayne at the guards. That makes him the de facto two guard and he gives us an extra ball handler. And he gives us another strong perimeter defender as he moves his feet really, really well.”

As for the team’s schedule Laaperi said, “I told the team that our strength of schedule is light years beyond any other team in Division III. We have the ranking points and now we need to compile some wins. We play Tri-City Thursday at Olympian (6 p.m. tipoff) and they have a good player. We play La Jolla at La Jolla Friday night (7:30 p.m. tipoff) and they get their football players back. And we play West Hills at West Hills Saturday at 7:30 p.m.”

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