Shadow Mountain's Basketball Website is MatadorRunandGun.com. They proved why with their first quarter track meet last night against a solid, underrated Coronado squad - - Then things became interesting.
After the 1st. the Matadors led 22-14 behind Brian Giacoppo's 5 points and the burned out legs of the Don's. With the platoon substitution pattern of the Matadors, the Don's looked worn-out and stunned after 8 minutes of play.
With the system of legendary Shadow Mountain's head man Jerry Conner, they want to outscore you, run you into exhaustion, and when the buzzer sounds, they are on top, regardless of their defensive effort. They want you to hurry up and score so they can drain a 3...
Coronado came out in the second quarter behind 5'11" SR Paris Allison-Greene. A virtual unknown outside the Don's inner-circle. Allison-Greene can flat out play. Stuck inside the paint, if he had 6 more inches he would be an Arizona POY candidate. Paris plays harder than ANY prep player we have seen in years. Can handle the ball, great court vision and has a knack for getting the ball in traffic. He kept the Don's close almost single handedly throughout the battle. Don's class of 2005 star Tareq Ramierez was kept in check the first half, but 5'9" PG Brandon Chiarell brought up the slack with his solid play and key buckets, as the Don's recovered in the 2nd but still trailed at the half, 39-29. Chriarell led Coronado with 10, and Shadow Mountain-Wells Fargo POY Ladi Makinde dropped 10, Inside muscle man Ben Boyd had 10, and the Matador PG and team leader Kenny Whitis finished the half with 7.
The glitch in the "run and gun" style is that if the opponent gets hot, and for one outing they can keep up, the adrenaline could elevate their performance and turn it into a ball game, which is exactly what happened last night…
Recovered and focused, the Don's came out in the second half and out played, out hustled and outscored the Matadors, behind the big 3, Ramierez, Allison-Greene and Chiarell going on a 16-8 run and closing the gap to 2, 49-47. One timeout later, Coronado tied it, took the lead on an Allison-Greene lay-up and a Ramierez bank from 15ft. A turning point that almost cost the game for Shadow Mountain, was a "T" called on 6'3" Derek Hartman. Coronado took advantage and control and silenced the infamous "Hecklers".
3rd quarter score 49-49.
Coach Conner and the Matadors looked shocked and tired after the Don's came storming back in the 3rd. 6'4" Sr. Ladi Makinde and 6'0" PG Kenny Whitis willed the "Dors" back and the last 8 minutes turned out to be the exciting finish this 4A State Playoff game promised.
6:45 left: Don's hit a 2 and lead 51-49
6:18 left: Makinde hits a running "J" in the paint to tie it-51-51
4:15 left and trailing by 2, Shadow Mountain was on the verge of getting beat until Whitis nails a 3 taking the lead 54-53.
3:43 left and down 1, The Don's Tareq Ramierez coverts a 3 point play to lead by 2, 56-54.
3:36 left: The Don's Brandon Outcat finishes off a great "no-look" dish from Allison-Greene and the Don's lead by 4, 58-54
2:51 left: Makinde misses a gimme, Shadow Mountain still trails 58-54.
2:01 left: 5 second call, turnover Coronado.
1:57 left: Matadors 6'4" SR Drew Pinnell is fouled and hits both to cut the lead to 2, 58-56
1:52 left: The Don's can't inbound the ball and turn it over, Matador ball.
Game breaker and clutch performer Kenny Whitis hits a 3 from deep at the top of the key to take the lead 59-58 Shadow Mountain.
1:26 left: The Don's Ramierez is fouled, trailing by 1, Tareq misses both, Matadors rebound, and go into the spread.
With only 5 team fouls the Don's need to foul quick to force a bonus situation, but allow the Matadors to run off 60 seconds before they pick up #6 with 22.9 left.
21.6 seconds and Whitis is fouled, going to the line for a 1 and 1.
Mr. Clutch hits both, and the "Dors" lead 61-58.
4.1 seconds left, star Tareq Ramierez lets go of a perfect 3 from 21ft. on the left wing to tie it, and misses.
Matadors hit 2 FT's
Final Score: 63-58
Game over and the end of a great battle between 2 great teams!
Whitis won the game with his mental toughness and fearless confidence hitting the game winner. Makinde struggled but showed why he was selected the Wells Fargo Region Player of the Year with his athleticism. Coach Conner does not panic and sticks with his game plan for 32 minutes.
The Don's are a top 10 team, and showed it last night. With returnees Tareq Ramierez and PG Brandon Chiarell (a bonafide top 2005 in Arizona), look for the Don's to start out in the top 5 in 2004-2005. Allison-Greene was underrated all year long, but showed last night this senior is a future college prospect.
Shadow Mountain travels to Ironwood Ridge tonight to battle in the Sweet 16.