FILE: The Coronado Girls basketball team (seen here from last season) has lost two close games for the 2023-24 season. Staff photo by Willem Quigley.

The Coronado High School girls basketball team jump started their season with back-to-back road matchups on Nov. 15 and 16, against Pacific Ridge and Point Loma.

The Islanders, despite losing both games, held their own against two teams in higher divisions, according to head coach John Coolidge.

Coolidge said his team has already shown promising signs to begin the season, and their fight against higher division teams was encouraging to start the year.

Their goal this year is to play hard, have fun, and learn from every game.”

-Coronado girls basketball Coach John Coolidge.

“Overall I’m proud of the girls for playing hard and never giving up. Their goal this year is to play hard, have fun, and learn from every game. They did just that,” said Coolidge.

Co-captain Herrera leading scorer

The first game of the season saw the Islanders take on Pacific Ridge, which is a much taller team. Coolidge said the Firebirds’ size was the edge they needed over his Islanders.

Junior guard and co-captain Selena Herrera had 15 of the Islanders’ 24 points.

Virginia Ryan, who Coolidge expected to be active in the paint for Coronado, did just that in the season opener. She had six rebounds and tallied four blocks to go along with four points. 

According to Coolidge, his girls’ efforts kept the game tight up until the third quarter where the Firebirds managed to out rebound the Islanders.

The activity on the boards pushed Pacific Ridge ahead, and Coolidge said they hit some crucial shots.

Regardless, Coolidge said he was pleased to see the energy that his team played with from start to finish.

“We have three pretty good ball handlers, which really helps, such as our new addition senior Susanna Pate who showed off her speed and athleticism,” said Coolidge.

Tough loss to Point Loma

A day later, Coronado traveled to Point Loma High School to play the Division 3 Pointers.

After falling to Pacific Ridge 39-24, the Islanders lost to Point Loma with a similar score of 39-26.

According to Coolidge, Herrera was a bright spot again with 17 points.

The junior standout was productive on defense too, and nabbed five steals. 

Ryan made noise in the paint, reeling in six more rebounds and collecting six blocks.

The entire team’s efforts in the paint didn’t go unnoticed by Coolidge.

“As a team we rebounded better with 24 boards for the game after only having 15 rebounds versus Pacific Ridge,” said Coolidge.

Similar narrative

The second game followed a similar narrative to the first game, according to Coolidge.

The Islanders held their own for a large majority of the game, and it wasn’t until the halfway point of the fourth quarter that Point Loma ran away with the victory. 

“We kept it a close game until the middle of the fourth quarter with foul trouble and Point Loma made some outside shots and free throws that ended up being the difference. It never helps to have key players foul out like your center and starting freshman Charlie Reyman,” said Coolidge.

The Islanders last meeting with the Pointers was in January 2022 – when they lost 55-6.

Showing promise

So, Coolidge said this season’s team is already showing a lot of promise.

“We are young, energetic, and ready for a new start,” said Herrera.

According to Coolidge, his team will look to continue and take it day by day as they chase their ultimate goal of making a push for the Division 4 playoffs.

“I believe with hard work and believing in themselves, along with trusting their teammates, this group can reach these goals. Looking forward to a fun season. They are going to be fun to watch,” 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.