Big man out? No problem for Corona del Sol in MLK Classic
Originally published: Jan 20, 2014 - 12:00 am
Big, small, fast, slow and everything in between.
The boys basketball team from Tempe Corona del Sol is versatile and deep enough to play any type of game you choose.
The two-time defending Division I state champions were without their big man, 6-foot-9 Connor MacDougall, and still managed to easily defeat a good Phoenix Shadow Mountain team 79-52 in the final game of the day in Monday’s (Jan. 20) MLK Classic at Grand Canyon University.
With MacDougall sidelined after rolling an ankle over the weekend, the Aztecs raised their record to 18-1 with their running game and a board-crashing party.
Corona del Sol also converted 13 of 23 3-point attempts. Forward Russ Davis was 6-of-8 from long range and finished with 20 points, tying guard Casey Benson for the team lead.
“He (Davis) really likes this arena,’’ said Corona del Sol coach Sam Duane Jr., referring to a similar type of game Davis had when the Aztecs defeated Shadow Mountain in the title game of the Hoophall West tournament in December at GCU.
MacDougall, meanwhile, stayed at home and received treatment for his injury. Duane said the decision was made not to take any chances with the big fellow, especially with the regular season close to entering the home stretch.
Junior Cassius Peat, a football star for Corona, started in the middle and made his presence felt. He scored six points and grabbed four rebounds.
“Cassius did a great job, particularly early,’’ Duane said.
Corona del Sol had two more players score in double figures – Alex Barcello with 13 points and Dane Kuiper with 10.
The Aztecs also played solid defense, keeping Division II Shadow Mountain (18-2) off balance.
“We were able to make the extra pass tonight and we are starting to jell in that way,’’ Duane said.
Shadow Mountain got double-figure scoring from its big three of point guard Michael Bibby (15 points), power forward Carlos Johnson (14) and swing player J.J. Rhymes (10).
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