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Hondo-Corona showdown starts tonight

By Todd Fuqua

When Corona takes on Hondo tonight, it will be the first of its two final matches of the 2016 regular season.

They’re hoping to win both – obviously – so they can enter next week’s District 3-1A tournament unbeaten as the No. 1 seed.

The catch? Hondo is also unbeaten at 4-0 and has the exact same goal.
“They’re a team never to discount,” said Corona coach Amanda Dunlap. “It’s nice being 4-0, because you kind of have an upper hand, but we still have a job to do, so we have to go out and win two more.”

On paper, Corona might be the better team. Their overall record isn’t as good (10-6, compared with Hondo’s 12-5), but the Lady Cardinals have swept all their district opponents to date.

Hondo, in contrast, was taken to five games in a road contest at Vaughn.

Their last contests were both sweeps on Tuesday, with Hondo beating Vaughn at home and the Lady Cardinals earning a road victory at Lake Arthur.

However, none of that matters when the two teams take the court in Corona tonight.

“I have not seen them play, and I honestly don’t know what to expect,” Dunlap said. “I’m just hoping we can go out and play our game. If we settle in and do what we’re supposed to, then that puts us on top, but Hondo is like Vaughn. They’re scrappy.

“Just when you think you’ve won, they can turn around and beat you,” she added.

Hondo and Corona have an immediate rematch on Saturday, when they play at Hondo. A split isn’t out of the question, and depending on the scores of the two games, it could come down to an early-week playoff to determine the top district seed.

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