By Lauren Smith
The women’s varsity basketball team fell to Rancho High School 56-40 on Thursday, Feb. 11 in the last regular scheduled home game of the season.
The Cougars started off strong in the first quarter taking the lead early in the game, with the majority of the points scored by Payton Caci, junior.
“We were strong as a team today, and I’m proud of what we accomplished,” Caci said.
In the second quarter, Coronado fought to keep the lead 17-16. Haley Tyrell, sophomore, made a free throw to extend the Cougar’s lead 19-16, but Rancho quickly retaliated with a two-pointer. After Coronado hit the ball out of bounds, the Rams were quick to get ahead 23-21. Another free throw by Tyrell tied up the score. Lexie Engdahl, sophomore, made a free throw to get the Cougars ahead by 1. Rancho made a last-ditch effort to take the lead into halftime and they scored a buzzer-beating three-pointer from half-court to end the first quarter 26-24 in the Rams favor.
The Cougars struggled to keep up in the third quarter. The Rams were the first to score to extend their lead to 36-31. Tyrell managed to block a shot by Rancho. After a timeout, the Cougars got a second wind. Tia Thornton, freshman, made two free throws to tighten the score gap 34-29. Rancho kept the lead at the end of the third quarter 40-31.
The Rams stayed hot in the fourth quarter racking up the scoreboard. The Cougars continued to fight back, and with two minutes left on the clock, they trailed behind 50-40 after a successful three-pointer shot by Caci. After three consecutive fouls by Coronado, the Rams got the chance to make extra free throws. Coronado was unable to close the gap between the two teams, and Rancho took the win 56-40.
“I’m really proud of what we did this season, and I know we are only going to get stronger. We have worked really hard to get to where we are,” Tyrell said.
The varsity men’s basketball team beat the Rams 72-40 to go undefeated 10-0 and clinch the Southeast League champions title for the second year in a row. The men will head into their first playoff game against Las Vegas High School next Wednesday, Feb. 17 at home.