Coronado’s boys basketball team played just one senior Wednesday night.
And, at times, that inexperience showed in the team’s opening game of the Tarkanian Classic. Fortunately for the Cougars, their freshmen and sophomores are future stars and they took over when it counted most.
Freshman Jaden Hardy scored a team-high 23 points and made several key plays down the stretch to help Coronado pull away from a one-point game with 4 minutes remaining and defeat Maranatha (Calif.) 72-59 in the Orleans Division at Bishop Gorman.
“Our (young) guys just got to keep learning to play together,” Coronado coach Jeff Kaufman said. “We have the talent. It’s just getting talent to all be on the same page.”
Hardy scored 10 points in the second half and turned it up a notch when the Minutemen pulled within one point.
“He’s a relentless competitor,” Kaufman said. “He’s so talented that he doesn’t even know how good he is.”
The Cougars had rallied from a 35-33 halftime deficit to take the lead. Their 6-foot-5-inch forward, Tyrelle Hunt — affectionately called “Fat Daddy” by his teammates — dominated the post by scoring 19 points.
In total, underclassmen accounted for 45 of the 72 points.
The defense, as a whole, also picked it up after allowing Maranatha guard Xavier Ford to drop 17 points in the first half.
“They turn it on, they turn if off,” Kaufman said. “That’s what talented players do. They realized, ‘Hey, we better start playing.’ That’s what talent does for you. Everybody just started to turn it up a little.
“We’ve just got to play that way for the whole 32 minutes.”
Eric Alston added 17 points, and Jalen Thomas scored eight for Coronado.
Chris Austin had 29 points, and Ford scored 22 for Maranatha.
Foothill 88, Crean Lutheran (Calif.) 58 — At Bishop Gorman, Dylan Hushaw led a balanced attack with 18 points as the Falcons routed the Saints in the Orleans Division.
Marvin Coleman and Jace Roquemore each added 13 points, and Collin Russell had 11 points for Foothill, which outscored Crean Lutheran 51-25 in the second half to pull away.
Jake Conerty led Crean Lutheran with 15 points.
Durango 68, Redondo Union (Calif.) 56 — At Bishop Gorman, LeAndre Mcintyre led four double-figure scorers with 18 points to help the Trailblazers down the Sea Hawks in the Orleans Division.
Anthony Hunter added 17 points for Durango, which also got contributions from Anthony Swift (14 points), Jovan Lubura (11 points) and Vernell Watts (eight points).
Zekiah LoVett led Redondo Union with 13 points.
Woods Cross (Utah) 63, Basic 49 — At Desert Oasis, the Wolves fell to the Wildcats in the Gatorade Division despite a game-high 22 points from Geoff Faries.
No other Basic player scored more than five points, and the Wolves trailed 29-16 at halftime.
Dak Gorringe led Wood Cross with 16 points.
Las Vegas 90, San Bernardino (Calif.) 65 — At Desert Oasis, Jaylin Headen poured in a game-high 27 points to lead the Wildcats past San Bernardino in the Gatorade Division.
Donovan Joyner added 17 for Las Vegas, which won despite not making a 3-point field goal.
Taejon Barnes had 18 points for San Bernardino.
Knight (Calif.) 60, Mojave 39 — At Desert Oasis, the Rattlers fell to the Hawks in the Gatorade Division despite 18 points from Noah Sherrard.
No other player scored more than eight points for Mojave, which trailed 25-17 at halftime.
Julio Benitez led Knight with 28 points.
Palo Verde 67, Layton Christian (Utah) 66 — At Desert Oasis, Tieman Allen made three free throws with nine seconds left to lift the Panthers past the Eagles in the Gatorade Division.
Allen scored a team-high 19 points, and Dylan Yoro added 12 points for Palo Verde, which trailed 33-19 at halftime.
Tieman Allen led Layton Christian with 19 points.
Democracy Prep 63, C.I. Gibson (Bahamas) 61 — At Desert Oasis, Akeemis Williams made eight 3-pointers and scored a game-high 28 points to lift the Blue Knights to a victory over the Rattlers in the Gatorade Division.
Chancellor Johnson added 10 points for the Blue Knights, who led 27-25 at halftime.
Sierra Vista 94, Jordan (Utah) 85 — At Faith Lutheran, Maka Ellis scored 28 of his game-high 46 points in the second half as the Mountain Lions defeated the Beetdiggers in the Eastbay Division.
Ellis hit five of the team’s 12 3-pointers and converted 23 of 24 free throws for Sierra Vista.
David Howard added 15 points, and Jalen McFadden notched 10 points for the Mountain Lions.
Dyson Koehler led Jordan with 33 points.
Riverside Poly (Calif.) 64, Arbor View 54 — At Faith Lutheran, Jarrod Burks scored 11 points in the Aggies’ loss to the Bears in the Eastbay Division.
Larry Holmes added 10 points, and Adrian Armstrong scored eight for Arbor View.
Lamont Butler led all scorers with 23 points for Riverside Poly.
Faith Lutheran 64, Millennium (Ariz.) 50 — At Faith Lutheran, Jaylen Fox scored a game-high 33 points, including five 3-pointers, and the Crusaders closed the game on a 23-10 run to down the Tigers in the Eastbay Division.
Faith Lutheran broke a 29-all halftime tie by going on a 12-3 run in the first eight minutes of the second half to grab a 41-32 lead. Millennium pulled within 41-40 with 9 minutes remaining, and Fox’s isolation layup sparked the Crusaders’ final run.
Dalton Kincaid added 10 points, and Brevin Walter scored nine for Faith Lutheran.
Justus Jackson led Millennium with 18 points.
Dominguez (Calif.) 62, Cheyenne 43 — At Faith Lutheran, Shean Jackson scored nine points in the Desert Shields’ loss to the Dons in the Eastbay Division.
Jermaine McCormick had eight points for Cheyenne, which fell behind 35-17 at halftime and couldn’t recover.
Wayne Arnold, Brenton Woods and Sean Harlston each scored 10 points for Dominguez.
Valley 61, Morningside (Calif.) 58 — At Faith Lutheran, Tommy Anderson scored a team-high 27 points to lead the Vikings past the Monarchs in the Nike Division.
Oscar Burns added 17 points for Valley, which trailed 32-23 at halftime.
Eric Marshall paced Morningside with 28 points.
Summit Academy (Utah) 54, Western 40 — At Faith Lutheran, Kizhonie Blunt scored 19 points in the Warriors’ loss to the Bears in the Nike Division.
Joseph Carr-Franklin and James Wade each added six points for Western, which got outscored 27-15 in the second half.
Isaiah Green poured in 24 points for Summit Academy.
Del Sol 42, Canby (Ore.) 37 — At Desert Oasis, Nati Asfaw scored 12 points to lead the Dragons to a victory over the Cougars in the Nike Division.
Keith Seldon added 10 points for Del Sol, which led 21-19 at halftime.
Diego Arredondo led Canby with 15 points.
Clark 50, Pasadena (Calif.) 47 — At Orleans Arena, James Bridges and Antwon Jackson each scored 12 points as the Chargers held off the Bulldogs in the Platinum Division.
Jalen Hill and Trey Woodbury each added eight points for Clark. Hill also had seven rebounds and three assists.
The Chargers held UNLV recruit Bryce Hamilton to one-first half point as they took a 26-15 lead at the break.
Hamilton, who spent much of the first half on the bench after picking up his second foul less than five minutes into the game, kept the Bulldogs in the game in the second half.
Hamilton scored 19 of his 20 points after halftime, and was 6-for-6 from the field and 5-for-6 from the line in the second half.
His hanging bank shot with 36 seconds to go cut the Clark lead to 49-47.
James Bridges then hit 1 of 2 free throws for the final margin.
Pasadena had a final chance to tie, but Darius Brown’s 3-pointer went off the front of the rim at the buzzer.