Basketball games can get chippy and physical, as anyone who watches the sport can tell you. The team that out hustles and outworks their opponent is the one who takes home the W. That philosophy was on full display in the Islanders Women’s basketball overtime thriller vs. Hoover High School on May 11. The Islanders went in to Tuesday night’s matchup with the Cardinals with an impressive 10-5 record and a flawless 4-0 record in league play.
The first quarter, in many ways, set the tone for how the rest of the game transpired. Coronado fell behind early following two buckets from Hoover but quickly tied things up at 4-4 following a 2-point jumper and two made free throws from No. 23 and San Diego county’s top scorer Janie Ruttert.
Rutter ended up scoring all 8 of the Islander’s first-quarter points, in large part due to the constant work on the glass from No. 25 Jenevieve Joseph and No. 15 Katie Potter, who constantly brought down contested boards and gave the Islanders consistent second chance shot opportunities.
Joseph’s effort was even more impressive considering she was routinely being fouled hard and even at one point appeared to be bit by an opposing Hoover player. After one, Coronado was trailing 11-8.
Coronado’s shooting quickly improved in the 2nd quarter. They added a quick 5 points to their total thanks to the smooth shooting stroke from No. 24, Halle Shipton, who, after getting a two-point floater to fall, buried a 3-ball to tie the game at 13 all with 6:33 left in the first half. Coronado continued to dominate the glass on offense and defense and continued to put up good shots on offense.
Still, there seemed to be a lid on the basket for the Islanders as balls continued to rim in and out for the ladies in green and white. The dry spell on offense found Coronado trailing 22-15 with 1:53 to play in half. But thanks to some excellent free throw shooting from No. 34 Courtney Williams and No. 25 Joseph, the Islanders only trailed 22-19 at the half.
Early in the 3rd, Coronado came out on a 7-2 scoring run to make it 29-21. But when it looked like Hoover might start to pull away, Ruttert hit a three-ball to draw Coronado back to within five points. That 3-ball seemed to wake up the entire Islanders team as they dominated the rest of the 3rd quarter.
On defense, the Islanders only allowed one basket over the final 4 minutes of the quarter; while on offense, Ruttert continued her dominance and added seven more points to help the Islanders close the 3rd on a 10-2 scoring run and making it a 32-30 game heading to the 4th.
Unfortunately, the Islanders could not keep the momentum going early in the fourth as Hoover stretched their lead back out to 6 points with 4:40 left to play. But just when things looked bleak, the Islanders did what they had done all night — battle back.
In the last 4 minutes, the Islanders again started dominating the glass on both sides, and Ruttert completely took over offensively in the fourth, scoring 11 straight points for the Islanders, including a game-tying three-pointer with 29.4 seconds to play. Coronado made one more stand in regulation and had a shot to tie it. While driving to the hoop, Ruttert looked to lay in a final bucket, and despite her arms being grabbed by three Hoover defenders, no foul was called, sending the game to OT tied at 41-41.
Despite the no-call, Coronado was able to keep momentum up in the overtime period. On the first shot of OT, Ruttert hit a 13-foot jumper off an excellent assist from No. 3 Kelly Murry. Rutter added another tremendous coast-to-coast lay-up to extend the Islander’s lead to 45-41.
After stonewalling Hoover again on defense, the Islanders looked to put the game out of reach, and they did so the same way they had all night with hustle. After a missed shot by the Islanders, No. 5 grabbed an excellent offensive rebound and kicked the ball out to No. 24 Shipton, who hit a tremendous 15-foot moving jumper.
A certified dagger that put the Islanders ahead 47-41 with 1:15 left to play. The Islanders held onto the 6 points and took home the 49-43 victory.
To cap off the week, Coronado also picked up another win as they dominated Santana 60-30 to add to their already impressive record and move to 12-5 and more importantly to 5-0 in league play this season. The Islanders look to keep things rolling this week as they play the Cavers of San Diego High on Friday, May 21st.