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Corona girls fly to win

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Corona's Faith Riley drives to the bucket for two, Dec. 9, during her team's win over Lake Arthur at the Panther Invitational.

LAKE ARTHUR – Both Corona head basketball coaches were in a quandary, Dec. 9, during the second day of the Lake Arthur Panther Invitational.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Corona’s Allison Martin, right, attempts to shoot next to Lake Arthur’s Esmeralda Villa, Dec. 9, at Lake Arthur.

Both had children appearing in a Missoula Children’s Theater production of Peter Pan back in Corona, and both were there to watch instead of leading their teams in action in the semifinals of the consolation bracket.

It’s not that they didn’t have anyone coaching them, though. Certainly for the girls, it didn’t seem to matter too much.

Corona’s Lady Cardinals throttled District 3-1A opponent 44-9, a day after falling in a narrow 34-30 decision to the Artesia junior varsity in the opening round.

Ronnie Dunsworth – formerly the boys head coach – made an interesting move at the best of the absent coach Terri Racher, starting nothing but freshmen and eighth graders.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Corona’s Jaime Morales, left, leaps high to pass the ball over Artesia JV’s J.R. Bustamante, Dec. 9, during the Lake Arthur Panther Invitational.

“Coach Racher wanted to get them some experience,” Dunsworth said. “It was good for them to work on their offense and get them some playing time.”

Having that much inexperience to start didn’t hurt them much, they had a 9-0 lead before the Lady Panthers were able to put in any points at the 2:58 mark in the first quarter.

Once the experienced girls did take the floor, the floodgates were open. Corona (3-3) had a 30-4 lead at the break.

Faith Riley led the way with 15 points, while senior Aubrey Brandenberger had eight points off the bench.

Dunsworth’s biggest challenge, actually, was getting his girls to slow down just a little bit.

“We’re just trying to get them to be more patient and run the offense on both sides,” Dunsworth said. “They have to look for that wide open shot instead of just taking the first one they get.”

For the boys, things continued to be a struggle. After losing to Loving, 79-35, on day one, the Cardinals dropped a 51-17 decision to the Artesia JV, but most of the Bulldogs’ scoring came in the second half.

Corona (2-4) trailed by just six points at the break.

Jim Racher was the top Cardinal with five points.

Both teams played early this morning, the girls playing for fifth place and the boys for seventh.

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