For the better part of 27 minutes, the Coronado boys basketball team was even with or outplaying Woodbridge (Calif.) in the opening round of the Las Vegas Prep Championship.
It was those other five minutes that did in the Cougars.
Despite a 38-point outburst from sophomore Austin Nelson, Coronado saw the Warriors go on a big run in the second half and snatch away an 89-80 win in the “B” Bracket at Valley High on Friday.
“We lost focus, and that cost us points and cost us the lead,” Coronado coach Paul Berg said. “Overall, other than the lapse right there, I thought we played pretty well defensively.”
The outcome overshadowed an outstanding performance from Nelson, who drained a school-record eight 3-pointers and hit for 21 points in the first half as the Cougars jumped to a 40-38 lead by halftime.
“Pretty good for a sophomore,” Berg said. “He’s been real consistent for us. He found his niche tonight. The basket looked really big to him.”
Coronado led by as many as six points early in the second half and went up 61-56 with eight minutes to play on a 3-pointer by Nelson, one of five he made after the break. But Woodbridge answered with a 19-5 burst to take control of the game.
“They took us out of what we wanted to do,” Berg said. “I felt like they were very aggressive pushing us out of spots on offense, which made us apprehensive on the offensive end for a little period of time.”
Sean McVety, who led the Warriors with 16 points, nailed one of his four 3-pointers to cut Coronado’s lead to 66-65, and Woodbridge went ahead for the first time since 2:30 remained in the first half on a three-point play by Jason Payne.
A 3-pointer by Brandon Johnson gave Woodbridge a 71-66 advantage, and the Warriors led 75-66 on a basket by Michael Lambert (14 points) with 3:15 remaining.
Nelson drained his final 3-pointer with 1:41 left to make it 81-75, and the Cougars got as close as 83-78 before Woodbridge closed the game at the foul line.
Charlie Wakefield added 14 points for Coronado. Brett Hoisington had eight points and five rebounds, and Brandon Glanz finished with a team-high seven rebounds for the Cougars.
Coronado hung close in the first half behind Nelson, using a 15-2 run late to snag the lead heading into halftime. After the Warriors went ahead 31-23 on a turnaround jumper by Steven Chon, Nelson’s steal and three-point play helped trigger the scoring outburst.
Hoisington’s steal and layup with 1:50 to go put the Cougars on top 36-33 before Nelson capped the run with two free throws for a 38-33 advantage.
“Fundamentally we were solid, which is what we can take away from this game,” Berg said. “We missed some shots and still put up 80. That’s still pretty good. We just can’t lose the focus.”
Western 92, Bell Gardens (Calif.) 85 — De’Andre Nash had 22 points to lead five scorers in double figures as the Warriors held off the Lancers in overtime.
Deion Harrell and Ehbert Talice scored 17 points apiece for the Warriors. Johnnie Diggs contributed 15 points and Melvin Washington 11 for Western.
Nash scored Western’s final six points in regulation and gave the Warriors an 80-79 lead with 1:05 left when he converted a fast-break layup following a steal.
Albert Chavez made one of two free throws to tie the score at 80 with 56.2 seconds left. And after Western turned it over with 18.4 seconds left, Bell Gardens had two chances to win the game, but neither shot fell.
In the overtime, Diggs hit a 3-pointer on the Warriors’ first possession to trigger a 12-2 run to open the extra session. Diggs later completed a three-point play with 1:07 left that put the game out of reach.
Travon Williams had 24 points, 18 in the second half, to help keep the Lancers close. Bell Gardens hit 13 3-pointers, including five by Mike De La Torre.
Palo Verde 84, Santee (Calif.) 26 — Santee arrived late at Valley, delaying the start of the game by 15 minutes. It was worth the wait for the Panthers, however.
Palo Verde (5-1) opened the game on a 23-0 run and never looked back in the easy opening-round victory over the Falcons.
“Unfortunately, that happens coming out to a tournament,” Panthers coach Jermone Riley said in reference to Santee’s tardiness. “Our guys were prepared. They didn’t play to the level of competition.
“They easily could have come out lethargic, but they didn’t.”
Liloa Nobriga, a standout linebacker for the Panthers’ football team, came off the bench to provide a spark with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Bryce Cotton scored 12 points, Andrew Topham 11 and Moses Morgan 10 for Palo Verde, which had 11 of its 12 players score.
“He did a great job on the boards,” Riley said of Nobriga. “He’s a football player, which sums up everything. He plays hard all the time. I just love having him out here.”
Nothing seemed to go right for Santee, which missed a wide-open dunk, airballed a free throw and had one 3-point attempt hit a pole above the backboard.
Eldorado 74, West Hills (Calif.) 47 — Mitrell Clark scored 20 points and Marcus Moreland 14 as the Sundevils cruised in the opening round.
Clark had 12 points in the first half when the Sundevils jumped to a 38-18 lead. Fabian Garcia finished with 10 points for Eldorado.
Valley 54, Narbonne (Calif.) 47 — Johnquez Brooks was the only player to score in double figures, scoring 19 points to help the Vikings slip past Narbonne.
Valley led 25-23 at the half, and made 15 of 23 free throws to secure the win.
Legacy 69, Cedar Bridge (Bermuda) 24 — Ira Haywood scored 15 points, and the Longhorns took a 34-12 halftime lead and never looked back.
Donavyn Persley and Terrell Evans each scored 10 points for the Longhorns, who held Cedar Bridge to just nine field goals.
In the “A” Bracket at Las Vegas High:
Morningside (Calif.) 69, Green Valley 62 — The Gators blew a 16-point halftime lead and fell to the Monarchs.
Morningside used an 8-0 run, capped by a rebound bucket by Joshua Smith with 10:32 to play, to cut the lead to 47-44.
The Monarchs took their first lead at 56-55 on two free throws by Daron Molock with 5:48 to go. A three-point play by A.J. Harris with 5:17 to play put the Monarchs up 59-57, and they didn’t trail again.
Harris had 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to help Morningside rally from a 39-23 halftime deficit.
Harris added nine rebounds and six assists for the Monarchs, who held a 56-37 edge in rebounds. Morningside held a 30-12 advantage on the boards in the second half.
Julian Franklin led Green Valley with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Bill Tuttle added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Gators.
Las Vegas 67, Chino (Calif.) 44 — Tony Eackles had 18 points as the Wildcats rolled past the Cowboys.
Freshman Hassan Henderson came off the bench to grab eight rebounds for Las Vegas, which held a 37-27 advantage on the glass.
Desert Pines 88, Cabrillo (Calif.) 46 — Reggie Shaw had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists as the Jaguars dominated the Conquistadores.
Donovan Williams came off the bench to add 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Desert Pines, which outscored Cabrillo 52-22 in the second half.
Pierre Jackson added 14 points, Daimar Harris 12 and Tyler Larson 11 for the Jaguars.
Centennial 77, Banning (Calif.) 53 — Ben Vozzola had 20 points as the Bulldogs beat the Pilots.
David Brodzeller added 14 points and Drew Staker 12 for Centennial, which outscored Banning 44-26 in the second half.
Sierra Vista 67, Carson (Calif.) 54 — Amir Garrett had 19 points and Quentin Chow 18 as the Mountain Lions beat the Colts.
Ray Tapusoa added 12 points for Sierra Vista.
Arbor View 69, Fullerton (Calif.) 50 — Darington Banks led three scorers in double figures with 16 points as the Aggies downed the Indians.
Maiscei Grier and James Graham each added 12 points for Arbor View.
Santiago (Calif.) 77, Faith Lutheran 56 — Travis Fulton scored 28 points as the Sharks routed the Crusaders.
Brett Lubbe had 15 points and Chase Saunders 14 for Faith Lutheran.
Serra (Calif.) 84, Bonanza 51 — Kevin Johnson, a 6-foot-10-inch sophomore, had 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench as the Cavaliers routed the Bengals.
Ryan Kelly led Bonanza with 14 points. John Grady and Jarrick Mitchell each added 12 points for Bonanza, which was outrebounded 43-24.