FAIRFIELD — Rishod Abraham started off hot and got hotter as the game went on.
The only thing that cooled him off was the final horn.
The senior guard scored 15 points in third quarter and added 12 in the fourth to finish what’s believed to be a school-record 40 points to propel the Rodriguez High boys basketball team to a 83-72 win over Napa in their Monticello Empire League opener, Friday.
“It’s got to be (the school record),” Mustangs coach Nate Rankin said. “He’s such a prolific scorer it’s ridiculous.”
“We lost one of our main players, Armani (Reed), our second-leading scorer and I had to pick up the slack,” Abraham said.
There was plenty of slack to be picked up in the early going as Napa (10-8) sank its first four shots and six of its first seven en route to taking a 23-20 lead after the first quarter.
The Mustangs (15-1) played miserably to start the second, missing their first 10 shots as the Indians upped their lead to 12 three times, the last at 36-24 after a basket by Steven Santora with 4 minutes, 9 seconds to go in the second quarter.
DeAndre Scott, the leading rusher on the Rodriguez football team last fall, ignited the comeback as his inside basket started a 21-4 run by the Mustangs to close the half.
Scott scored six of his eight points in the surge and Abraham netting eight, including a pair of 3-pointers, one from the left corner that tied the game at 39-39 with 1:06 to go before intermission.
Scott’s driving layup with 49 seconds remaining put the Mustangs up to stay at 41-39.
“DeAndre Scott came off the bench and was instrumental in the comeback,” said Rankin.
“Mostly our point guard Kyle (Williams) got us into the offense,” Abraham said. “He found me in the corner open and we picked up our defense.”
Up 45-40 at the break, the Mustangs built their first double-digit lead at 50-40 with Abraham hitting the second of two free throws. He went on to score 11 of the Rodriguez’s final 13 points in the period as the home team took a 65-54 lead into the final quarter.
Down 71-60, Napa scored five straight points to get within six at 71-65 after a layup by Jake Ganton.
Abraham countered with a layup of his own and scored six of the Mustangs’ final eight points, reaching the 40-point plateau by draining two free throws with 24 seconds to play.
The win was the 14th straight by Rodriguez, two shy of the school record set by the 2008-09 squad.
Williams finished with 10 points, while Scott and Tim Moore Jr. had eight and Keanu Williams seven.
Ganton led the Indians with 25 points, while Santora had 18 before fouling out in the third quarter, and Alex Randal added 15.
Rodriguez’s JV team rallied from a 41-37 deficit after three quarters for a 47-45 victory. Jamaurie Bailey led the Mustangs (12-5) with nine points.
Rodriguez hosts Vintage, Tuesday.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.