Coronado High School honored its five seniors on Friday. Sitting L-R are: Rikka Navarretta, America Camarillo, Anna Youngblood, Katie Potter and Alyssa Alarcon.

The Coronado Islanders wrapped up their season on Friday night inside their home gym, facing off against the La Jolla Vikings.

Both teams played a hard nosed style of basketball with buckets being difficult to come by early on, but ultimately the Vikings defeated the Islanders 54-19.

Not only was this the Islanders’ final game of the year, but the five seniors were given a proper send off with senior night.

Seniors Alyssa Alarcon, Katie Potter, America Camarillo, Anna Youngblood, and Rikka Navaretta took the floor together as the starting five, and were honored alongside family and friends after the final horn.

As for the game, the seniors made the most of their final moments of high school basketball.

Coronado girls basketball Coach John Coolidge talks to his team during Friday’s final game of the season. Staff photo by Nick Hancock

The girls weren’t afraid to go up for tough offensive rebounds, drive into the lane to draw fouls, or dive for a loose ball.

“They played hard, and have been the heart and soul of this team all year,” said Coach John Coolidge.

Friday’s hustle from the seniors wasn’t something new, however, as the girls have played gritty basketball all season, according to Coolidge.

The Islanders’ aggressive defense was reflected on the scoreboard throughout the first quarter.

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They held the Vikings to just seven points, and stayed out of foul trouble.  

La Jolla wasn’t afraid of a little physicality either, and gave the Islanders plenty of trouble on offense.

Coronado (1-22) was held scoreless through the first quarter with the Vikings (10-14) forcing turnovers and disrupting the Islanders’ rhythm with hard fouls.

Coolidge honored his seniors by leaving them in for the entire first quarter, but coming back from the break, sophomore Selena Herrera checked into the game and got the Islanders on the board with a pair of free throws. 

Anna Youngblood (25) shoots a free throw in Friday’s final game of the season against La Jolla. Staff photo by Craig Harris.

Youngblood’s efforts on the defense carried over from the first and into the second quarter, with one possession seeing her rack up two blocks.

Alongside Potter’s hustle, the Islanders limited La Jolla to just 11 points in the second quarter.

Herrera hit one more free throw, and the score was 18-3 heading into halftime.

The defense displayed by the Islanders was large in part due to Youngblood’s presence in the paint.

Defense has always been a focal point of her game and an aspect of basketball that comes easier to her than offense, according to Youngblood.

La Jolla continued to double team and full court press Coronado to begin the third quarter, and it took five minutes for the Islanders to score.

A floater from Youngblood and mid-range jump shot from Herrera on back to back possessions brought the score to 22-7.

Herrera would go on to convert two more mid-range jumpers in the final minute of the third, while Navaretta and Youngblood continued to reel in rebounds. The score was 29-11 heading into the final quarter.

As the seniors took a break on the bench, some of the Islanders’ younger core got in on the action.

A mid-range jumper in the corner from Jimena Cortes brought the score to 33-15.

With two minutes remaining in the game, Coolidge waved his seniors over and they checked into the game one final time.

The Islander crowd delivered a standing ovation, as some girls played with a smile and others with tears in their eyes.

“It’s sad for this chapter of my life to be over, but there is still a lot of gratitude and joy to take from this night,” said Youngblood. 

The final horn sounded as the Vikings left victorious, but it was still a night of celebration for the Islanders.

The team and school wanted to honor all that this senior group has meant to the program throughout the years, according to Coolidge.

“They meant everything to this program, this is a team I’ll always remember,” said Coolidge.

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Nick Hancock is a sportswriter for The Coronado News, and he’s a junior at Point Loma Nazarene University, where he is the Arts & Entertainment Editor and sportswriter for The Point student newspaper. He has also worked in the sports information office for PLNU.

The Coronado News is a 24-hour news website and direct-mail free newspaper to all residents and businesses of Coronado as we cover city government, schools, businesses, entertainment and the Navy.