FAIRFIELD — The home team refused to give up its early lead – no matter what.
The Rodriguez High girls basketball team held on despite a valiant comeback effort by Vacaville, escaping with a 71-67 Monticello Empire League victory, Tuesday.
The Mustangs (11-9, 3-1) came out on fire in the first quarter against Vacaville (10-8, 2-2) as they acquired a 12-2 lead at the 4 minute 25 second mark off a no-look pass from Briana Hayles to Daraja Carroll under the basket.
Rodriguez was 10 of 16 (62 percent) from the field, while Vacaville was 4 of 13 (30 percent).
The Mustangs made their last three shots of the quarter, including a three-point play from Casara Vaughn, giving them a 25-14 advantage after the first eight minutes.
“I was proud of how well our girls played defense and the way they handled the press,” Rodriguez coach Lou Collier said. “That was the turning point in the game. We were able to break the press and attack the bucket.”
In the second quarter the Bulldogs started to show they had more bite left and weren’t going away easily, causing the Mustangs to turn the ball over 11 times and outscoring them 12-7 in the quarter to make it only a 32-27 deficit at the half.
After both teams combined for five consecutive misses to start the third quarter, Jessica Cummins got Vacaville within four at 34-29 at the 6:32 mark, but the home team wasn’t going to let the comeback happen.
The Mustangs’ Destiny Greenwood scored the next seven points, including a 3-point play, within a 2-minute span, putting Rodriguez up by ten at 41-31. Greenwood had nine in the quarter and ended the game with 15.
The Bulldogs found themselves at only a 45-43 disadvantage after a 10-4 run, but Rodriguez’ Hayles put up a half-court buzzer beater as she fell to the floor, giving the Mustangs a 48-43 lead to start the final period.
Hayles hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth, igniting a 7-0 run for Rodriguez, putting them up 55-43 with six minutes left in the game.
After a back and forth quarter, the Bulldogs’ Capriana Christian hit a 3-pointer with 1:25 left, cutting the deficit to 69-61. On the ensuing inbound from Rodriguez, Vacaville stole the ball and Christian scored on a 3-point play, making the score 69-64.
After a foul and a missed Rodriguez free throw, Allie Krohn hit a top of the key 3-pointer for the Bulldogs, making it a 69-67 game. Free throws from the Mustangs’ Az’hiana Musolf sealed the victory.
Vacaville’s Christan led all scorers with 22 points, while Mackenzie Shrock had 17 points and eight boards. Rodriguez’ Hayles had 13 for the game, while Musolf had 12.
In JV action, Rodriguez came out with a 59-53 victory. Taj McIntyre led the team with 18 points, while Caitlin Parrish added 14.