FAIRFIELD — It was a close game – for a quarter.
The Rodriguez high boys basketball team had a balanced attack as four players scored in double-figures, defeating Pinole Valley 74-62, Tuesday.
“We had no film. We just looked at the stats,” coach Nathaniel Rankin said.
The Spartans opened the game with a 1-3-1 zone-defense, but after the Mustangs hit two of three shots from beyond the arc, Pinole Valley dropped the zone and went man-to-man.
“We do have perimeter shooters,” Rankin said. “Once they did that (go man-to-man), then we were able to go to some of our offense.”
The stat line for the first quarter was nearly identical as both teams took four trips each to the foul line, while Rodriguez out-rebounded the Spartans eight to six, but the Mustangs (4-1) found themselves down 16-14 after the opening eight minutes quarter.
Then, the second quarter started.
Rodriguez tied the game within seconds at the start of the quarter, then after a Tim Moore Jr. free throw, it had the lead. The Mustangs went on a 8-0 run before Pinole Valley scored at the 4-minute mark with two free-throws, making the score 25-18.
Rodriguez outscored the Spartans 24-9 in the second quarter, with Rishod Abraham scoring 13 in the period.
Pinole Valley was 2 of 12 from the field in the second and shot 34 percent (20 of 58) for the game.
The third quarter was much of the same as the Mustangs scored 21, shooting 60 percent (6-10) from the field and 75 percent (6-8) from the line.
Rodriguez was just under 50 percent for the game in shots made. Seven different players for the Mustangs scored in the third quarter.
Abraham led Rodriguez with 23 overall points, while Kyle Williams scored 12 and Courtlund Mclean and Armani Reed each scored 11.
The Mustangs were able to hang onto the lead in the fourth despite the Spartans scoring 24 to Rodriguez’s 15, and Abraham fouling out of the game with two minutes left.
“We’ll take the win but we have to close out.” Rankin said. “(The) first three quarters was great ball play, but that last period it fell apart. We have to remain disciplined.”
The Mustangs will open with Colfax in the Davis Tournament, Thursday.