FAIRFIELD — The grass — and school colors — was greener for the home team.
The Rodriguez High boys basketball team erupted in the second quarter with a 19-0 run against Vanden to take its second crosstown rivalry victory in three days, defeating the Vikings 67-51, Thursday.
The Mustangs (14-1), who defeated Fairfield 72-61 on Tuesday, were slow out of the gate in the opening period, falling behind 19-12, to Vanden (6-7).
Rodriguez missed its first four shots, and didn’t score until the 5-minute mark on a layup from senior guard, Rishod Abraham.
The Mustangs were 4 of 15 (26 percent) from the field in the first period.
“How will our guys respond to a very emotional (Fairfield) game?” said Rodriguez coach Nate Rankin of his thoughts early on. “I was quiet the whole first period. I wanted to see how they responded.”
On the other side – the Vikings started the game off sizzling, shooting 73 percent (8 of 11) from the field, and allowed the Mustangs one lead early in the period.
All five of Vandens starters scored in the first with point guard DeMarre Walker leading with seven points.
The second quarter, though, was a whole other animal – literally.
After Vanden’s Jawan Mathews put in a bucket 11 seconds into the second, Rodriguez went on its 19-0 run over a 4-minute span.
Courtlund Mclean started the run with a 3-pointer, but it was senior Tim Moore who had the momentum changer as he drove the lane for three-point play.
That score put the Mustangs in the lead at 22-21 — and for the rest of the game.
Rodriguez outscored the Vikings 34-11 in the second quarter, shooting 76 percent (13 of 17) and was a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
To top off the second quarter, junior guard Kesean Graham hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the corner, putting the Mustangs up 46-30 at the half.
“Tim Moore had a excellent game and really stepped up tonight,” Rankin said. “(Moore) did a lot of stuff tonight in the trenches. This was his breakout game. Tim was excellent.”
Moore ended the game with 12 points, but had nine in the second period.
Not only did Vanden have shooting woes in the second, going 5 of 12, but they had 11 turnovers, finishing with 31.
In fact, the Vikings had more turnovers than rebounds (30).
“We just didn’t play together,” Vikings coach Micheal Holloway said. “We tried to do things on our own. We’re just learning right now how to be a team, so it is going to be a little while, but we’ll get it together.”
The third quarter was sloppy for both teams, as they shot a combined 6 of 28 (21 percent) and went 0 for 8 from the 3-point line. Each team only made three baskets.
Rodriguez missed its first seven shots and didn’t score until 4:50 was left on the clock.
The fourth period was much of the same as both teams scored 14 apiece.
The Mustangs were led by Mclean with 16, with Abraham adding 12.
In JV action, Rodriguez defeated Vanden 57-48.
Jemaurri Bailey led the Mustangs (10-5) with 13, while Roebi Balancio had 11. For the Vikings (2-10), Anthony Anchante had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards. Phoenix Shackelford added eight points.