Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Monday, Dec. 6, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
Needless to say, the Cougars were even happier about the outcome — a 43-38 victory against a Falcons team that made the playoffs and beat them twice last year.
“It was big for us because they are one of those teams in our division we will be measured against,” Coronado coach Bill Crego said. “I think we can compete with everyone and there’s going to be a mix near the top.”
Coronado went 9-14 a year ago and missed the playoffs, but Crego believes this year’s squad is much improved and will fight for a spot in the postseason.
The Cougars optimism starts with senior guard Nicole Ruffino, who has emerged as the team’s foremost leader.
“Nicole has been in the program four years,” Crego said. “She’s a good slasher, penetrating guard who can get to the basket. She can also play down low if she needs to.”
Coronado also returns Sofie Cruz, a 5-foot-5 guard who started and was the team’s second leading scorer as a freshman last year. Senior guard Caitlin Trost rounds out the perimeter starters for Coronado.
Inside the paint, Coronado will look to senior Amanda Decker. Crego complimented Decker’s passing and rebounding ability.
“We are a really balanced team,” Crego said. “We feel like if we’re multi-dimensional like that, no one can take one player away and say ‘we won’t let her beat us.”