Head coach Martin Reyes always wants more from his team.

After allowing the 40th-ranked program in the 4A Conference to hang around in the first half, the No. 7 Coconino Panthers came out of halftime feeling like they could do better at imposing their will.

Coconino kept Greenway off the scoreboard for the entire third quarter, Jada Golding led all scorers with 22 points and the Panthers toppled the winless Demons at home Tuesday, 53-21.

+3 
Coconino Greenway

Coconino’s Taylor Hansen (1) shoots over the Greenway defense Tuesday at Coconino High School.

"We were guarding hard, getting good denials, we were making life rough for them," Reyes said of the second half. "We always want to come out in the second half and establish those first four minutes. It's going to be our half."

Capping off a two-game homestand, Coconino gave up the lead just once on the way to improving to 6-1 and winning its fifth straight on the regular-season schedule.

Oniah Barton-Paddock found Maya Tijerin inside for a basket on Coconino's first possession of the game, only to see Greenway hit a 3-pointer for a short-lived lead. Golding answered on the next trip down court, draining one of her two makes from beyond the arc, and the Panthers never looked back.

Ahead 15-3 with about three minutes to go in the first quarter, Coconino's reserves came in and allowed Greenway just two points from the free-throw line. The Panthers, who have not allowed an opponent to finish a game within 15 points since Dec. 5, brought the bench back in to start the second quarter.

"They played good D," Reyes said of his bench, "which is always a precursor to how much you are going to play."

Coconino used the foul line and some strong play from Golding to go on a 7-0 run to end the second quarter and take some momentum into the break. Golding assisted Marilee David for a field goal toward the end of the surge and then hit a pullup jumper before the buzzer sounded, putting the Panthers ahead 33-15 heading into locker room.

+3 
Coconino Greenway

Coconino’s Kailani Charlie (20) looks to the basket Tuesday night during play against Greenway.

Ten different players scored for the Panthers, who sent eight bodies to the foul line for a 8-for-20 night. Golding's free throws to start the third quarter put her team up 35-15.

Getting into transition more as a result of the increased defensive intensity in the third, the Panthers soon took a 30-point lead when Kailani Charlie shimmied right to avoid a defender on a fast-break play for a layup.

Kenzie Palmer added a 3 to Coconino's scoresheet. She hit from the corner off an inbounds pass from Kaylee Begay to take a 20-7 advantage in the second quarter. Palmer finished with four points, with Begay adding three.

Trinity Gencarelle ended her night with seven points, and Tijerin tallied six.

"It was a hard game for us. We are on winter break," Reyes said, adding that he was proud of his team's focus on getting the win. "It's good for us to grind through those things, see what we are made of."

Coconino travels to Phoenix Thursday to take on the Washington Rams, who as of press time held the No. 35 spot in the 4A rankings.

Mike Hartman can be reached at 556-2255 or at mhartman@azdailysun.com.

0
0
0
0
0

Sports Reporter

Load comments