Wednesday, January 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rodriguez boys face Jesuit in SJS Division I title game

By
From page B1 | March 08, 2014 |

8 rodriguez preview 1

Rodriguez's Rishod Abraham drives to the basket during the SJS Division I semifinals against Merced at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Wednesday. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — The Rodriguez High boys basketball team has been outrunning teams all season.

If the Mustangs can do it one more time they will bring home their first Sac-Joaquin Section championship.

Second-seeded Rodriguez (26-2) takes on No. 1 Jesuit of Carmichael (27-3) in the SJS Division I championship game at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m..

“The key in this particular game right here,” said second-year Mustangs coach Nate Rankin, “I think (is) our speed, of course, getting up and down the floor, keep the game simple.”

Simply put, the Marauders, one of the section’s traditional powers, are taller at every position. They’re topped by 6-foot-9 senior forward Brady Anderson, who’s averaging 7.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, according to Maxpreps.com, to 6-7 senior forward Lake Lutes (17.4, 7.8) to leading scorer Isaiah Bailey, a 6-3 junior guard (19.7, 5.3).

“Looking at Jesuit, across the board we may be giving up 5 1/2 to 6 inches,” Rankin said. “It is what it is. The guys know we just play basketball. It is what it is. . . . When people play us they don’t expect what we have. I’m sure Jesuit is doing their homework.”

What the Mustangs have is speed and balance, led by Solano County Athletic Conference Player of the Year Rishod Abraham, a junior wing who’s averaging 17.9 points per game.

He’s joined by junior point guard Kyle Williams (11.0), senior guard Armani Reed (10.8), senior wing Tim Moore Jr. (8.2), senior guard Keanu Williams (7.0) and junior guard Courtlund Mclean (6.4).

Senior DeAndre Scott has given the Mustangs a solid defensive presence, while senior wing Jourdan Skillman and junior wing Jordan Badger, play bigger than their 6-2 listings and Kesean Graham has provided valuable versatility.

Junior forward Torian Varner was solid in the middle before re-aggravating a football injury that ended his season. Roebi Balancio and Saud Suddozai have been called up from the junior varsity team.

“Our job as coaches, we don’t play the game, we prepare the kids to play the games,” Rankin said. “They really bought into it.”

The Mustangs have already matched the school record for wins set by the 2007-08 squad, which went 26-7 and reached the SJS title game – including a 69-65 win over Jesuit in the quarterfinals – where they fell on a last-second shot to Folsom.

Regardless of what happens Friday or in the upcoming NorCal Regionals, Rodriguez will set a school record for highest winning percentage. The current mark is .862 by the 2008-09 team, which went 25-4.

Despite falling behind in the first half of numerous games this season, the Mustangs have managed to rally in all but two of their games. While Rankin appreciates that trait, he hopes his team won’t need to employ it on Saturday.

“It definitely helps as far as confidence knowing they’ve been in places like this before, but we don’t want to remain in those situations,” the coach said. “We don’t panic, we don’t panic. Going into the third period we’ve been blessed to be able to make adjustments. Granted, the fourth period we haven’t had to do that. If you look at our track record, we’re definitely a third-period team. As a coach, I’m not comfortable with that.”

According to Rankin, the Mustangs are comfortable playing in Sleep Train, where they again turned in a solid second half to defeat Merced 73-68 in Wednesday’s semifinals.

“It’s just another place to play,” Rankin said. “Granted, you have to respect that NBA players play there. It’s the same floor Shaq (O’Neal) has been on, the same floor Kobe (Bryant) has been on. That’s fine, but it’s a basketball court we have to play on.”

The Marauders aren’t exactly just another team – they’ve won a total of eight SJS – but the Mustangs enter the game with no fear.

“When you see them, because of their height they’re so close to the rim its ridiculous,” Rankin said of the opponents. “We’ve faced teams with two or three taller guys. Here’s the deal: we only play whats in front of us, we don’t look down the road, just play what’s in front of us. . . . There are going to be some tough matchups to deal with, but we don’t back down from anyone. We do what we do.”

Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or pfarmer@dailyrepublic.net. 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 | 1 comment

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

  • Leon W.March 08, 2014 - 8:22 am

    Great job Coach Nate. Hats off to you for restoring Rod"s basketball team. After the Al Attles mess, lots of kids left the program. They had the Solano counties only undefeated JV team three years ago and could of won the last two section titles. Had they not been forced out, they"d be playing for a three peat tonight.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

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

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Youngster battles brain cancer a 2nd time

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

    2 Solano road projects get green light

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

     
     
    Rush Ranch seeks docents

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

    Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
    Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Vanden to host science fair

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

    Woman with Solano ties caught up in tax fraud case

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police to offer parenting class

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

    Frazier schedules coffee in Suisun City

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

     
    Vacaville police to offer law enforcement academy

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

     
     
    Coalition members review tobacco control report card

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

     
     
    American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

    Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

     
    Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

     
    Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B8

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 26, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Fairfield police log: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 26, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Suisun City police log: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    .

    US / World

    Gold nuggets stolen in smash and grab

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Officials lose track of billions in funding

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

    Bill would treat e-cigs the same as regular cigarettes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    CSU chancellor looks to increase graduation rates

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    NTSB: Systemic flaws in safety oversight of gas pipelines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Catholic church in San Francisco to phase out altar girls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Military has wide discretion on Bergdahl charges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

    Gunmen storm Libya hotel, killing American, 9 others

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Famed civil rights protesters to have arrest records erased

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Secret talks in Jordan try to win release of hostages

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    ‘Wicked storm': Blizzard drops 2 feet of snow on New England

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Opinion

     
     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Jan. 28, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Jan. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Horoscope Jan. 28, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

     
    We live close to my nephew but he chooses to remain distant

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

     
    10 Things: 10 fresh takes on Super Bowl guacamole

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Common, John Legend to perform ‘Glory’ at Academy Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Katie Holmes to guest on ‘Ray Donovan’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Sports

    Falcon boys drop 69-61 SCAC loss to Bethel

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Local Report: Armijo boys roll past Napa 69-41

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

    Nadal loses; Sharapova to play all-Russian semi in Australia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Belichick and The Beast talk but don’t say much at Media Day

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Deflated topic: air pressure in footballs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

     
    Rose’s shot lifts Bulls over Warriors 113-111 in overtime

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lynch at Media Day: ‘I’m here so I don’t get fined’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Super Bowl, Tiger make Phoenix center of sports universe

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Long after Twitter feud, Revis, Sherman pledge respect

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    The distinctive international flavor of Super Bowl Media Day

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Serena Williams advances, Venus out of Australian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Getting fired from New England led to Carroll’s reinvention

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Sharks in ‘dogfight’ to secure playoff berth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Jury convicts 2 ex-Vanderbilt players of raping woman

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Rio official says there’s ‘no plan B’ for Olympic sailing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Golfer Allenby stands by story, says truth will come out

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Tony Stewart returns with a swagger not seen in 2 years

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Shooters find not every basketball is same in college game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Patrick heads into 2015 in final season with team, sponsor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Manfred hopeful of A’s getting new ballpark in Oakland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Business

    US home price gains slow in November on weaker sales

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    FTC clears Albertsons’ purchase of Safeway

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    .

    Obituaries

    Clarence E. Morgan

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Don Johnson

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 10 Comments

    Dzhon Athanc

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Julia P. Tan

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Woodrow Allen Oakley

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Donald Wesley Johnson

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Joseph Phillip Raiff

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6