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Coronado girls team rides smaller lineup to win over Foothill

Coronado’s girls basketball team isn’t blessed with an abundance of height.

The Cougars generally have to rely on good outside shooting and an aggressive defense to have a chance to win.

But Coronado showed Wednesday that even with four guards on the floor, it could win battles in the post.

The Cougars, often playing with a vertically challenged lineup, made 12 of their 18 field goals in the paint and held off host Foothill, 40-37.

“When Foothill went to a zone, we needed to get some interior passing,” said Coronado coach Bill Crego, whose team improved to 9-5 overall, 1-1 in the Southeast League. “We don’t have a lot of height, but we get good position. We made two passes instead of just one, and it gave us some good looks.”

For much of the game, the Cougars went with a lineup that featured four players who stand 5 feet 8 inches or shorter.

“We’re not very big, either,” Foothill coach Keith Starr said. “They penetrated against our guards, and once we stepped up, they were able to go inside. Our defense didn’t play well.”

Coronado, which never trailed after taking a 20-18 lead in the first minute of the third quarter, moved ahead 40-35 on Lindsay Decker’s base-line drive with 1:14 to play.

A second-chance jumper by Alysse Thummel moved Foothill to within 40-37 with 50 seconds left.

The Falcons (8-6, 0-2) held Coronado to one rushed shot and two missed free throws on the front end of one-and-ones in the closing seconds and had three shots to tie the game, including Thummel’s 3-point attempt from the right wing with two seconds left, but
couldn’t convert.

Stacy Rapp led the Cougars with 11 points. Courtney Whitaker, a 5-8 guard, had 12 rebounds and Decker 10.

Thummel led all scorers with 12 points. Brigitte Rigon, who played the final 9:42 with four fouls, finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“Winning a game like this can’t help but give our girls confidence,” Crego said. “Our league is so balanced this year. Anytime you win on the road, it’s big.”

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