IMPERIAL â€” The Brawley Wildcats stifled the undefeated visiting Islanders of Coronado 70-43 to claim their third victory of the 2016 Boys Varsity Basketball Tiger Classic in Imperial Thursday evening.
Brawleyâ€™s full-court trapping press suffocated Coronadoâ€™s ball handlers from the first whistle and pounced on an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring on an inbound lay-in by forward Casey Kline (#44), a three-ball from the right wing by shooting-guard Moises Lazos (#1), and a post-up hook-shot by center Isaiah Bustamante (#33).
Midway through the first period, Wildcat guard Adalberto Lopez (#12), the game’s leading scorer with 17 points, would knock down a three from the top of the key followed by a layup, to put Brawley up 12-2.
Coronadoâ€™s forwards answered by crashing the offensive boards with put-backs by Scott Hendricks (#20) and David Grant-Williams (#24) to stay within a basket, with Brawley up 18-16 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, both teams began to execute their offensive sets more effectively. Islander guard Myles Manning (#1) would contribute eight points in the quarter on driving layups and a short jumper, keeping the game close, with Coronado only down 26-24 with four minutes remaining in the half.
The Wildcats’ ball movement constantly found the open man to keep Coronado at bay with the high percentage perimeter shooting of Jeremiah Crane (#2), Lopez, and Johnathan Zarate (#24) to close out the first half with a 38-29 lead.
Brawleyâ€™s superior conditioning became more evident as the second half progressed, holding Coronado to only two baskets and a set of freethrows in the entire third quarter. Meanwhile, the Wildcats continued to roar offensively, more than doubling the Islanders’ offensive output, taking a 52-35 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Another series of long range shots by Brawley forwards Justin Polanco (#3) and Kline, and the relentless Wildcat defensive intensity, never allowed the Islanders to regain their offensive rhythm and earned Brawley the win with 70-43.
â€œThe press was very effective in this game,” said Brawley Head Coach Jeff Deyo. “Weâ€™re getting better at sharing the ball and hitting the open people offensively and we just have to keep building on that.â€