Speed. Power. Defense.
Top-ranked Corona del Sol showed great examples of all three en route to its 69-54 win over No. 9 Brophy in the quarterfinals of the Division I state boys basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena on Tuesday.
Making sure it avoided a repeat of Saturday's slow start, the Aztecs (30-1) used the quickness of guards Calaen Robinson and Casey Benson to open up a nine-point lead after the first quarter.
After Corona won the opening tipoff, Benson nailed a 3-pointer to give the Aztecs a lead they would never relinquish.
"I thought it was important for us to get out quick and...get going early," Aztecs coach Sam Duane said.
Benson finished with a game-high 20 points.
Robinson, playing on the court he'll call home next season with Arizona State, showed how dangerous Corona's speed is and tortured the Brophy defense by utilizing his quickness to cut through the lane and put up 17 points.
With the quick lead, the Aztecs turned to its power game inside on both offense and defense to hold the Broncos at bay.
Andrus Peat had a dominant game in the paint, putting in 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The inside game helped the defense hold the Brophy offense to just 17 made field goals and never let the Broncos to get close than that nine points after the first quarter.
"The key was we defended really, really well tonight," Duane said. "Our scout team got us prepared for everything Brophy runs and that's the reason we defended so well tonight."
Fred Gammage proved to be the only consisted scoring threat for Brophy and scored a team-high 12 points for the Broncos (23-8).
Corona moves on to the semifinals where the Aztecs will face their old Central Region rival, No. 5 Desert Vista.
"They're a good team," Duane said. "It'll be fun."
The Aztecs beat the Thunder, 64-57, in their only meeting of the season back on Dec. 6. The reunion will be at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday at Jobing.com Arena, with a trip to the championship game on the line.
"We're just thinking about we got to worry about Desert Vista and see what happens there," Duane said. "It's cliché, but one game at a time."