Staring down a stout 2-3 zone defense, coach Leonard Taylor’s initial plan Friday against Coronado was for his Basic boys basketball team to press and convert layups in transition.
However, Taylor’s desire to drive the basket quickly took a backseat to the 3-point shot as the Wolves caught their stride from long range.
Coming off the bench, Andrew Lopez knocked down 7 of 8 3-pointers en route to a game-high 23 points and Basic’s 75-67 win over the Cougars in a Southeast League game. The Wolves shot 63.6 percent (14-for-22) from beyond the arc.
“(Lopez) is a starter for the most part,” Taylor said. “We mix up our starting lineups a lot, and I think that was some of (Coronado’s) game plan tonight. Their coach said they wouldn’t be letting him get his shot off. I don’t believe that happened as well as they had planned.”
Lopez sank a 3-pointer from the left corner with 3:52 remaining in the third quarter to give Basic (12-4, 2-2) its largest lead of the game, 52-40. He scored 14 points in the third quarter, connecting on 4 of 5 3-point shots.
“We were just passing it around and going through kicks,” Lopez said. “We’re just worried about motion and getting our team involved. When the shots go down, we gain momentum.”
Coronado (7-11, 2-2) clawed back with a 13-0 run highlighted by Charlie Teixeira’s heavily pressured 3-pointer with 1:19 left in the third. The conversion staked Coronado to its first lead since early in the first quarter, 53-52.
A quick layup from Antraye Johnson and another 3 from Lopez put Basic up 57-53 heading into the fourth quarter.
“I thought a lot of that had to do with us being willing to make the extra pass,” Taylor said. “There was a lot of unselfish play in moving the ball around. This is a big conference win for us.”
The Cougars, who lost their fifth straight game, tied the score at 63 with 4:58 left on Teixeira’s three-point play. But an 8-2 stretch by Basic secured the victory.
Jaylen Rose shot 5-for-8 on 3-pointers and totaled 16 points to lead the Wolves. Isaiah Villaros scored 14 points and Devonte Boyd 13 for Basic.
Justice Augmon and Jordan Willis each scored 19 for the Cougars, and Teixeira added 16 points.