[Special Note From The Editor:]—With our sincerest apologies, tonight’s game will NOT be “Live Streamed.” Instead, it will be shown via the NFHSNetwork’s Video On Demand (VOD) feature. For our followers who are already subscribers, the game will be available for viewing tomorrow, Friday, 3/6. For non-subscribers, you must become a subscriber to the Network to see not only this game, but all previous Roosevelt games that we’ve produced this season. For new subscribers, please follow the instructions you will find on their website by clicking here, NFHSNetwork.Com. and then going to the Subscribe button at the top right of the screen.
Game Background: (Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles)—The Roosevelt Rough Riders, now with an overall record of (21-10), and carrying an (8) game winning streak, started their second, and most important, playoff season with a resounding victory, Tuesday nite, 3/3, on their home court when they broke open the game by late in the first quarter, against their State CIF Southern Regional Tournament, opponent, the #15 seeded, Cathedral City Lions.
The Lions, came into the game with a just below .500 average overall record of (15-16) and a 4th place finish in their Desert Valley League, but to their credit, they had earned their way into the CIF/State’s playoffs by defeating the following teams: 1) Noli Indian HS; 2) La Sierra Academy; 3) University Prep; and 4) Vasquez HS. With this string of victories, they qualified to meet their league member school, Banning for the 5-A semi-final game, which they lost by the score of (51-39). As a result, the State tournament committee selected them to appear in the Division 5 tournament, where they found themselves pitted against #2 seed, Roosevelt.
So now, the stage was set for yet another historic entry into the Rough Rider All-Time record book. The reason you ask? This was their inaugural appearance in a State CIF post-season Regional Championship tournament.
(1st Half)—The Riders opened the game with a text-book and picture-perfect opening jump-ball play that took the controlled tip by Rider’s starting center, #42/Cesar Romo, to his wing forward #22/Vince Burgueño, who was lined up facing Romo, just outside of the jumper’s circle in their own front court, who then delivered a nicely timed “back-door” bounce pass to his streaking guard, #3 Jhonny Gomez, for the clean and uncontested lay-up, (2-0) Riders. From there, they began their first half dominance of the Lions, who could not defend against the perimeter shooting, fast breaks, and the Rough Riders bothersome zone defense that produced several timely steals. After (5) team three-pointers and a good field goal shooting percentage, the Riders closed out the first half with a (17) point lead, (40-23). Here were the scoring totals: Arellano (11), Gomez (12) Romo (11), Burgeuño (3), Reserve Center-Forward, Antonio Montes (2), and reserve forward, Julio Garcia with a surprising, but greatly appreciated (8), coming on 2 three-pointers and (1) regular field goal.
(2nd Half)—After the intermission, the Riders kept up their offensive pressure on the Lions and once again, buoyed by their 3 point shots falling from both sides of the court, the Riders stayed out in front and were never threatened by any considerable, or timely runs by the Lions. Julio Garcia still had the “hot hand” on his shots and poured in 12 points in the half, four of them coming on that rare, “And-1” 4-point play, giving him a total of (20) points in the game. He was joined in final game double digit stats by Gomez with (22), Arellano (15), Montes (9), Romo (6), Burgueño (3), and reserve center, #20/Joe Castro (2). The entire roster of reserve players were rewarded greatly expected playing time in this 1st round State playoff game. Leading scorer for the Cathedral City Lions was Center, #0/David Castillo with (18), while point guard/#5 Justin Agbayani and forward, #1/Dvid Estrada each had (8) points, and forward, #11/C.J.Taylor had (6).
FINAL SCORE: Roosevelt 76 Cathedral City 57
One last, but important aspect of the game was the packed house for this game. More than 1,500 fans in a attendance, the majority of course, Rough Rider nation, cheered long and hard for their “Team of Destiny” as they continued their special and historic journey into the State Southern Regional Championship Tournament. We close with the comparison and the similarity to Star Trek and its Starship Enterprise’s universal slogan—-“to go boldly where no other Rough Rider team has ever gone before!!” What a fantastic and historic season, Head Coach Mario Perez, (completing his 8th season), his Assistant Coach, Emmanuel Medina, and their 12 member crew are having.
Now, it’s time to for the Rough Riders to once again get their “game-faces” on as they prepare to host the #7 seed, Bishop Diego Cardinals, who bring with them a (22-12) overall record and a (5-3) Tri-Valley League record. The team travels in from Santa Barbara, CA.
Our final thoughts…Come on out and support the team tonight!! Our advice to everyone interested in attending the game—plan to arrive early because it’s going to be very crowded or “sold out” again.