HONDO – Corona boys head basketball coach Randy Autrey knows the frustration of seeing a team not meeting its potential.
After a loss at Vaughn, Feb. 8, the Cardinals came to Hondo for another District 3-1A showdown, only to drop a 55-45 decision following a poor performance in the second and third quarters.
“We just got beat tonight,” said Corona coach Randy Autrey. “They didn’t break it on us at all, we were able to beat them down court, but we’ve struggled with our second and third quarters all year long. Halftime kills us.”
As for the Eagles (6-16, 4-1 district) it was a question of whether they could withstand the comeback and keep pushing toward a victory.
“Our last three games against (Corona) have been like this, back and forth, back and forth,” said Hondo coach Ben Sanchez. “We just needed to get enough of a lead and keep it there.”
Corona (6-17, 1-4) at least could boast the highest scorer in the game with Jesus Villa, who put in 18 points and was complimented by Tarren Washburn’s 14.
The Cardinals led much of the first quarter, and had a 20-19 lead with a little less than three minutes left in the first half, before Hondo was able to forge ahead in the third period and hold on the rest of the way.
Kevin Fernandez scored 15 points to lead the Eagles, followed by Thomas Hernandez with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Hondo girls take control
The Hondo girls opened up the evening with a convincing 57-19 victory, a game in which the Eagles (14-9, 5-0) used an 18-0 run in the first quarter to take control from the beginning.
After that start, Hondo didn’t let up, holding the Cardinals (4-18, 1-4) to single digits in every quarter.
Hondo coach Adam Romero said the relentless defensive pressure was part of his hope the team can keep that kind of intensity against team in the upcoming State tournament.
The State fields haven’t been decided yet, but with a 14-9 record, it’s highly likely the Eagles will be in the mix.
“That’s the plan, to keep the intensity up and not take any teams lightly right now,” Romero said. “We have to play all four quarters every single game and put teams away.”
Chase Dictson showed off her skills on the outside, hitting on four 3-pointers and scoring 17 points to lead all scorers. Joyce Ann Cooper wasn’t far behind with 15 points, while Nina Herrera added 10 points and led the team with six rebounds.
Faith Riley led Corona with seven points.