Corona del Sol vs Gilbert Christian (GC) Game Recap
This game was an interesting battle of a division-I power versus a division-III power. Both teams only had one loss coming into the game. Both teams also boasted star players on their respective teams, as you had 6-foot-3 junior point guard Casey Benson for Corona versus the star junior duo of 6-foot-7 forward Sam Jones and 6-foot-3 guard prospect Roberto Reyes of Gilbert-Christian HS.
Gilbert Christian made the first move in the game, as they would jump on Corona - taking a 7-2 lead. Gilbert-Christian's Sam Jones would score all 7 of his team's first points in the game. This lead was also due to the play of Roberto Reyes, as he would defend Benson and force him into a couple of early turnovers. Reyes' defense was probably the best defense I have seen against Benson so far this year.
Corona finally found their groove, as they went on their own run to regain the lead by very balanced scoring from most of their starters and going up by one point, 16-15. Sam Jones would score all of his team's 15 points thus far in the game.
From that point on, Corona starting pulling away from Gilbert Christian - led by the play of 6-foot-4 sophomore forward Cassius Peat. Peat would score 10 points in a big run for the Aztecs. Corona would go up 30 to 18 at the half.
Inefficient play from Gilbert-Christian would lead to their demise, as they would finish out the half with multiple turnovers from many of their players. Corona was too well-coached and too good to turn the ball over against them.
The second half would start and it would be more of the same, as Corona kept a big lead the entire half with 6-foot-2 senior guard Bryan Siefker, Benson and Peat pouring in points. They were up by as many as 20 points in the half, until GC hit six 3-point shots very late in the game, with gifted 6-foot-2 freshman guard Cameron Satterwhite hitting four of his own, and 6-foot-3 junior guard Keaton Ranger hitting two also.
The final score was a big 62-46 win for Corona. Corona’s leading scorers were Benson with 15 points, Peat with a team-high 17 points, 6-foot-3 senior guard Branden Tennyson with 11 and Siefker with 10. GC was led by Sam Jones with 16 points, although he only managed 1 point in the second half. Reyes would finish with 8 points, while freshman guard Satterwhite would get 12 points.
The total team effort from Corona is one of the major reasons Corona has become a state final-four contender. Even though Benson didn’t have his best game of the year in this one, the team pulled together to win. A good sign of a great team.
Dobson vs Tucson Salpointe Catholic Game Recap
The final game of the night from day two featured Dobson versus Tucson's Salpointe Catholic. With three division-I prospects on the Dobson team, and a young Salpointe team trying to find their groove, this game wasn’t expected to be competitive.
The game opened up fast, and if anyone has watched Dobson, they know that all three of their star players aren’t bashful shooters. Well, it was 6-foot-5 junior SG Ryan Richardson on display first, as he would hit five three-pointers in a row out of the gate - grabbing a 15 to 2 lead for Dobson.
Salpointe would settle down a little and try to slow the game down - pounding the ball down low to 6-foot-4 sophomore PF Jaylyn Juan for 6 tough baskets in the paint.
But 6-foot-5 senior SG Jaron Hopkins (University of Colorado signee) would take his turn, and score a quick 10 points for himself to give Dobson a big 43 to 24 lead at the half. Richardson would score a game-high 17 points in the first half.
The second half would start and 6-foot-2 junior SG Hunter Lowry would score an impressive 11 points in a row for Salpointe, but it was Dobson's 6-foot-5 junior SG Kodi Justice (Arizona State commit) who would makes some plays and hit three 3’s in a row for a 58 to 37 Dobson lead.
Hunter Lowry tried to keep the game close - scoring 18 second-half points, but the “big 3” were too much for Salpointe, as Dobson would win 79 to 58.
Jaron Hopkins would finish with a team-high 23 points in the win, while Richardson would finish with 19 points. Kodi Justice had 11 points in the win. All three players sat the last 5 minutes of the game.
Salpointe was led by Hunter Lowry with a game-high 25 points, and Jaylyn Juan with 10 points and 2 monster blocks. Juan is a fine looking sophomore to watch out for in the future.