FAIRFIELD — After a tough loss at home, it was important to get a win on the home team’s floor.
The Rodriguez High boys basketball team spoiled Armijo’s Senior Night by rolling to a 67-48 Monticello Empire League victory at E. Gary Vaughn Gymnasium, Thursday.
After the Mustangs (22-2, 8-1 MEL) had their 19-game winning streak snapped by Wood, Tuesday, they looked to get back to their winning ways – and they came out running.
After the Indians (5-18, 2-7 MEL) took a quick 2-0 lead from a Lorenzo Martinez putback, Rodriguez scored a quick 10 points, including six fast-break points, making it 10-7 with 5 minutes, 20 seconds left in the period.
That three-point margin was the closest that Armijo got to Rodriguez as the visiting team opened it up from there.
Rishod Abraham scored the next seven points for the Mustangs, ending the night with a team-high 19.
“Our offense was working tonight, which was great,” Rodriguez coach Nate Rankin said. “After the loss to Wood, our guys learned to play as a team.”
It was much of the same in the second quarter as Rodriguez outscored the Indians 19-13, going into the half with a 40-27 lead.
Armijo wasn’t going down without a fight, showing it could hang with the Mustangs in the third quarter.
The Indians were sparked after a three-point play from Tyree Carrie – driving in the lane through a crowd of Rodriguez players.
It was Kevin Williamson that caught the spark for the home team after scoring six points in 1 minute, 36 seconds.
Williamson showed some offensive diversity scoring on a short-hook, a fast break and a floater after a rebound from 7 feet away.
The Indians were within reach, finding themselves down 54-41 after the third quarter.
“We made a nice run in the third quarter,” said Armijo coach Carly Perales. “Once we got within 11, (Rodriguez) went to a more aggressive press and started trapping. That’s been our Achilles heel this year.”
After a putback from Allen, the Indians were down 54-43 with 7:52 left. They wouldn’t score again until there was 3 minutes left in the game – and Rodriguez had built a 63-43 lead.
The Indians’ last game of the season is at Vintage, Tuesday.
“We’re going over to Vintage and we’re going to play hard and to win,” Perales said.
Rodriguez looks to wrap up the MEL title as it hosts Vacaville, Tuesday.
“Vacaville is tough,” Rankin said. “If we’re able to play as a team, we’ll be okay.”
In JV action, the Mustangs defense was too much as they came away with a 55-33 victory.
Rodriguez was led by Jemaurri Bailey with 10 points, while Roman Randle scored 12 for the Indians.