Thursday, March 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mustangs top Cougars, advance to SJS Division I semifinals

By
From page B1 | March 01, 2014 |

1 bball 1

Rodriguez's Keanu Williams shoots the ball against Golden Valley's Ben Fletcher during the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I boys basketball quarterfinals at Rodriguez High School in Fairfield, Friday. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Word hasn’t gotten to fans of the Rodriguez High boys basketball team that’s it now Sleep Train Arena.

Mustang Nation chanted “Arco! Arco!” after the home team held on for a 69-64 win over Golden Valley of Merced in the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, Friday.

Whatever the place is called, second-seeded Rodriguez is headed to the home of the Sacramento Kings to play No. 6 Merced, a 38-37 upset winner over No. 3 Franklin, in Wednesday’s semifinals. Game times will be released Saturday morning.

“It means a lot to me,” said senior forward Rishod Abraham, the Monticello Empire League’s Player of the Year, of heading to Sleep Train. “It’s always been my dream.”

“The feeling is indescribable,” said senior post Tim Moore. “There’s no words for it. It was my best game of the playoffs. It’s crazy.”

Moore’s best game included helping to get 6-foot-7 Joshua Sykes into early and enduring foul trouble.

Sykes had two baskets in each quarter for 16 points, with three resounding dunks, and was headed to double-digits in blocks before being forced to the bench in the first, second and third quarters because of fouls.

“We challenged Tim in practice,” Rodriguez coach Nate Rankin said. “He had to play (tough defense) on No. 2 (Sykes).”

The Mustangs (24-2) helped their cause by not falling behind by 10 or more any point of the game, a habit they’ve gotten into this season.

They trailed by five points three times in the first quarter, but scored five straight points to take a 16-15 lead after the first eight minutes. Half of those points were by Abraham, who finished with a team-high 16.

Rodriguez then made it 11 straight points by scoring the first six of the second quarter, only to have seventh-seeded Golden Valley (22-7) score six in a row to tie it at 21.

There were three ties and two lead changes before a Courtland Mclean tip-in with 2 seconds left put the Mustangs up 35-34 at the half.

The third quarter was just as wild with three ties and four lead changes before two free throws by Armani Reed put Rodriguez ahead to stay at 45-43 with 3:49 to go in the period.

The Mustangs were up 53-49 heading into the fourth quarter and led by seven points four times, the last at 62-55 after a Moore tip-in with 3:06 left in the game.

The Cougars refused to go away, however.

A 6-2 run capped by two Christian Carroll free throws cut the deficit to 64-61 with with 29 seconds to go.

Golden Valley then forced Rodriguez, which has had spotty foul shooting all year, to win it at the line, and the green, black and white did just that.

Kyle Williams hit two free throws and Abraham one of two before the Cougars’ Evan Stillahn drained a 3-pointer from the right side with 4 seconds remaining to make it 67-64.

Williams was fouled once more and didn’t waste the opportunity to ice the game, sinking both free throws with 3 seconds to go.

“I’ve just got to calm down and relax,” said Williams, who finished with 11 points and hit all eight of his foul shots. “I focus on one thing when I’m shooting free throws. I block out the crowd.”

After a missed desperation shot by the Cougars, Mustangs fans stormed the floor for a celebration in front of the team’s bench – while Queen’s “We Are the Champions” blared over the PA system.

Of course, any championship is two wins away as the Mustangs make their first trip back to the arena formerly known as Arco since losing to Folsom on a shot at the buzzer in the 2008 SJS Division I title game.

“I’m proud of the kids,” Rankin said. “That was Rodriguez ball we played.”

And now they’ll have to play it on the road, but with all the confidence in the world.

Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.

Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer is a 1985 graduate of Brigham Young University. The Suisun City resident has been with the Daily Republic Sports Department since 1989 and has served as sports editor since 2007. He and his wife Jackie have four children.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Vacaville honors top cops, support staff

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
     
    Kings honor Rankin, Mustangs

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Fairfield mall to host first aid kit assembly party

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Fairfield PD chief to address Solano GOP

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

     
    New meeting location for family support group

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

    Padan Elementary demonstrates new school culture

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
     
     
    Fairfield police log: March 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A7

    Suisun City police log: March 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A7

     
    Frustration permeates college contract negotiations

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    .

    US / World

    Vallejo woman’s story a hoax, police say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

     
    Deceased woman’s video supports Wolk’s bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Man threatened suicide before shooting officer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    .

    Opinion

    We deserve freedom to choose our fate

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

     
     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: March 26, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: March 26, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: March 26, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    After several years, my nieces now live with their father and are miserable

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    David Crosby in car accident with jogger

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Contract not renewed for ‘Top Gear’ host

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Felicity Jones excited, tight-lipped about Star Wars role

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Sports

     
    Prep badminton preview: City teams making their marks

    By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

    6 teams with 10 or more losses most ever to reach Sweet 16

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    After 1st division title in 39 years, Warriors want more

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Local report: Rodriguez boys swim past Vintage

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Rio mayor unveils controversial Olympic golf course

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Joe Gibbs’ son being treated for ‘brain function’ issues

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    America’s Cup organizers want smaller, cheaper boats

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Gomez uses offense and defense, leads Brewers past A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Cal to host UC Davis in 2019, Cal Poly in 2020

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Lanny McDonald selected as chairman of Hockey Hall of Fame

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Serena Williams hoping to play at Miami Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Change to extra points likely in NFL

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Bills to honor late owner Wilson with life-sized statue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Tulowitzki homers, Butler strong in Rockies’ win over Giants

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Elliott heads to Martinsville to attempt 1st Sprint Cup race

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Alameda County to join talks about new Oakland stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Howard Leon Carnes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9