Americas Pulls Away Against Coronado to Remain Perfect in 1-6A
In one of the more marquee matchups of 1-6A district play, the Americas Trailblazers (20-7, 3-0 1-6A) found a way to claw back on the road against Coronado (14-10, 2-1 1-6A) and pulled away with a 56-52 win on Tuesday night.
Both teams entered the game with an early unbeaten district record and Coronado led soundly at the end of the first half, 31-24. Americas entered the game as the No. 24 team in 6A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
Coronado blew open the gates early on and used senior guard Ayaan Sohail and 6-foot-8 forward Hank Hayes to help the Thunderbirds out early on. Sohail finished the half with 12 points, while Hayes chipped in with six points and some nice boards.
In the second half, Americas was able to rally behind an early 8-2 run in the third quarter and battled back and forth with Coronado. They rattled Coronado with their use of the press in the second half as well.
Seniors Angel Gutierrez and Joseph DeAnda helped lead the way in the second half, combining for 25 points in the second half for the Trailblazers. Gutierrez, a 6-foot-5 forward for the Trailblazers, knocked down three separate and-one's for Americas, while DeAnda gave them go-ahead free throws down the stretch.
And in the tale of two halves, the difference for Americas was locking down defensively.
"We just played harder on defense and that was the key," DeAnda said. "Coach got on us and we came out in the second half and had better effort on defense."
Gutierrez led both sides with 21 points, while DeAnda finished with 17.
Americas also used scoring from guys like Tyler Wilson and Eric Casteneda to propel them forward, as each totaled with eight points on the night.
Coronado was led by Sohail, who finished with 17 points and some nice defense, while Cole Randal totaled 14 points for the T-Birds.
Next up: Coronado will travel to Pebble Hills, while Americas hosts Montwood on Friday.