(Boyle Heights/East L.A.)—In a special 2020 Leap Year game that fell exactly on St. Valentine’s Day, 2/14, Roosevelt Rough Rider Head Coach, Mario Perez, and his battle-tested squad never flinched, then hit the hardwood court extremely hard, and came away with an amazing first round CIF/LA City Section Division 2 Playoff upset road win over the #6 seeded John F. Kennedy Cougars from Granada Hills. The final score was (50-38). Even by virtue of their upset win, the lower-seeded Rough Riders continue to stay on the road when they visit the home of the Hamilton Yankees, the #3 seed in the bracket on Wednesday, 2/19. The tip-off is at 7 pm. This will be one of the Section’s four Quarterfinal games. The Semifinals are scheduled for this coming Saturday, 2/22 at a site yet to be determined.
East L.A. Hardwood Classic Photo Gallery:
Photo Gallery Credit: Javier Perez, Student Intern, Cal State Dominguez Hills University
Review of the Kennedy Game: The #11 seeded Riders coasted to the win on the strength of both the post-play of Senior/#42/Cesar Romo, who contributed a game high (17) points, and the combined guard play of #3/SO/Jhonny Gomez and #1/SR/José Arellano, as they scored (12) and (11) points respectively. They were also perfect for a combined 5/5 on free throws. Forward/Center, #22/SR/Vince Burgueño added a total of (6), and #4/SR/Julio Garcia put in (4) to round out the scoring.
On their defensive side of the game, they held the Cougars to only (3) points in the first period and just (7) in the second, for a total of (10) points. The halftime score was (20-10), Riders. In the second half, the Riders maintained their offensive pressure as they connected for (30) points in the half. Meanwhile, they played a swarming defense, allowing just 12 points in the last period to preserve this huge win.
Review of the Garfield Game: In a “Live Streamed” Boys Varsity Basketball game on NFHSNetwork.Com, and produced by its local Affiliate, EastLASportsScene.Com, the Roosevelt Rough Riders, Eastern League (7-5)/Overall (15-10) earned themselves a decent playoff seed with the dramatic upending of their longtime rival, the Garfield Bulldogs, Eastern League (8-4)/Overall (12-15), by the final score of (53-52). The “East L.A. Hoops Classic” win came in front of the usual packed house of 1,500+ at Roosevelt.
The 2020 “East L.A. Hardwood Classic” absolutely lived up to what this traditional rivalry offered to both teams’ coaches, students, administrators, teachers, parents, and community members. It should go down in the record books as one of the greatest games played in regulation time.
Play of The Game Summary: With playoff visions in their heads, the Riders played confidently, and remarkably well defensively. They managed to outpace their rivals in most facets of the game until everything came down to the final seconds of the game.
Here’s the setting for the final play phase of the game: With the score (53-52), Roosevelt, only (7) seconds left in the game, and the home team’s gymnasium noise levels breaking the high school gym Richter Scale record, Garfield put the ball in play at their 28′ hash-mark on the court near their bench, after they took their last time-out. They quickly in-bounded the ball to #24 Anthony Rodriguez, Garfield’s sure-handed point guard. He then took a couple of dribbles to the top of the key area with his left hand, and then like the court magician he’s become, #1/SR/Jose Arellano cleanly stripped him of the ball and drove uncontested to his basket where he attempted to end the game on a slam dunk. One problem. He missed the dunk. Nonetheless, the final buzzer triggered enormous joy in Rider nation as hundreds of the student-body stormed the court in grateful appreciation of this huge rivalry victory over the Garfield Bulldogs.
More Playoff News……We’re glad to report that the Bulldogs also qualified for the LACS Division 2 post-season tournament with their finish in the Eastern League, and drew a #10 seed. They, like Roosevelt, were on the road and played the #7 seeded San Pedro Pirates. The final of that game was (63-57) Bulldogs. With the win, they are set to face their second round opponent on the road, the #2 seeded Polytechnic Parrots from Sun Valley. The game is also set or this Wednesday at 7 pm.
Attention to Roosevelt and Garfield Alumni and team supporters plus All of our regular Followers: You can still see this outstanding game by clicking on this link, NFHSNetwork.Com, subscribe as a new member, and then go to their Video On Demand (VOD) feature, to see it in its entirety. In doing so, you will automatically be able to watch all other games that are “Live Streamed” on the Network throughout this season’s playoff period, the Finals included.