It was the match-up of the year on paper, as two of the state'stop contenders for the 6A Division faced off on Tuesday evening in front of a large crowd at Desert Vista High School. With Corona Del Sol sporting two of the elite talents in the state, and Desert Vista sporting one of the state's elite teams, loaded with talent, the game had the potential, on paper, to be the game of the year.
Desert Vista's 6-foot junior guard Duane Miller has been playing excellent basketball as of late. The son of former NBA guard Andre Miller, this young man would convert some quick drives at the bucket to start the game. Miller would keep his team in it early.
Alex Barcelo (University of Arizona signee) would get the crowd going with a big cross-over dribble, then converting a three-pointer. After a back-and-forth battle, Barcello would answer with another three-pointer to keep his team in it.
Corona (18-2) would lead 20 to 16 after the first period.
In the second quarter, a big missed shot by Desert Vista's 6-foot-5 senior guard/forward Caleb Simmons would lead to a three-pointer by Corona's senior guard Saben Lee (Vanderbilt signee), and a transition and-one alley-oop by Alex Barcelo.
Simmons would answer back with a nice drive to the basket, and a smooth mid-range jumper. A big transition bucket by 6-foot-6 junior forward Wesley Harris would give Desert Vista a 34 to 32 lead with two minutes and 53 seconds left in the second period.
Another transition bucket by 6-foot sophomore guard Isaiah Wilson would give Desert Vista a 40 to 39 lead going into the half.
The third-quarter was kicked off by a big put-back dunk by Caleb Simmons. Isaac Wilson scored a big and-one basket to bring Desert Vista back 51-49, before Corona would tie the game at 51 all on a Saben Lee put-back. After more back-and-forth action, Desert Vista would take the lead 60-57 going into the fourth period.
Desert Vista (13-3) would make a push to start the fourth period, but Barcello would tie the game at 69 all, with two quick layups. Corona would then go on a run of their own, behind Barcello's defensive effort.
Desert Vista would cut it back to 75 to 71 with a tough finish in traffic by junior forward Wesley Harris. In the last couple minutes,the Corona guards would take the game over - hitting key free-throws to win the game.
Corona would eventually win the ball game, 86-83, as Saben Lee would finish with a game-high 33 points, and Alex Barcello would finish with 30 points of his own.