(Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles,CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The “East L.A. Classic “ on the indoor wooden court, as in this Eastern League Boys varsity match-up, was going to also certainly be a “War On The Floor,” given that it was yet another opportunity for this traditional and nationally acclaimed rivalry contest to take place in this inaugural varsity “double-header” night format of Boys & Girls.
The game was played to a 1,600 standing room only crowd inside the new and “State-of-the-Art Roosevelt Rough Riders gymnasium. In addition, this particular and historic game took on the memorable date of Friday, January 13th, 2023.
This year also marks the 100th Anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt High School’s existence here in the City of Los Angeles. At the end of a very exciting evening, and in a huge “win-win” atmosphere of competition for the schools, teams, coaches, players, the faithful and passionate followings of our communities, and of course, parents, it was a great and fitting way to mark the Centennial moment.
**[Special Note From The Editor]: To all of our followers, please note that both teams are scheduled to play their second round game of the Eastern League this coming Friday, 2/3 at Garfield in the same “varsity double-header” format. Girls Tip-off at 5:30 pm, Boys at 7:00 pm. Make your plans to attend accordingly as the gym may be packed before the girls game ends.
Let’s now take a quick look at the “Classic Game” preview as both teams prepared for a fight to the finish. First, the visiting Garfield Bulldogs came into this contest with an overall record of (13-3) and a league record of (3-1). Although the two teams are members of the Eastern League, they actually represent two divisions of play. Garfield is in Division 3 and Roosevelt in Division 1. On the other hand, the Rough Riders entered the contest with a (7-10) overall record and were tied for 3rd place with South East with (3-1) records in Eastern League play at the time of this writing.
In the interest of time, we do not provide our written game summary, but leave you with your time to view the full game on video, view our great photo gallery, and then read Roosevelt’s Head Coach, Manny Medina’s remarks and description of the game just below.
-ROOSEVELT HEAD COACH MANNY MEDINA’s CORNER–
“High school winter sports brings excitement and passion to the fellow student-athletes, teachers, students, and families and what better way to spend a Friday January 13th than at the Roosevelt vs Garfield “East L.A. Classic” basketball game. This year’s scheduling was different with both Varsity Girls and Boys playing back-to-back, but both of our rivalries always show high intensity and grit each and every time we face each other.
In this tough Eastern League match-up, the Bulldogs came out aggressive on both ends of the court. Our game on this day was a game of runs, combined with strong defensive effort, with much heart and lots of passion, especially with our standing room only gym. The first half got off to a slow start for both teams. The pace of play was very intense, but steady and continued into the 2nd half.
We came out equally ready to compete and meet the challenge. Our SR/Forward/#4/Romeo Avila had an ‘En Fuego’/blistering, ‘hot-fire’ start, scoring the first 9 points for us, all on 3 pointers. He kept up our offensive pressure for the game and hit (6) three point field goals and (3) huge free throws late in the game and finished as our leading scorer with (21) points.
Our point guard, SR/#1/Joshua Vega did a masterful job of running our offense while controlling the tempo of play. He was also a huge anchor on the defensive end as he faced up in a Box-and-1 against Garfield’s talented point guard, SR/#10/Jayden Barnes, who scored (12) points. Joshua tallied his double figure effort with (12) points and had a big second half getting to the rim on his dribble drives and made a clutch 3 point baseline jump shot when the game was still very close going into the final minutes of play.
Garfield’s 6-6 Center/Adam Nouri powered in (16) points, had a big offensive rebounding game with (10) and kept them close. But we then began to tighten up on the boards, cut down on our turnovers, and then hit our key free throws by Avila and SR/Jared Andrade, which carried us on to victory by the final score of (38-34). With our victory over our arch-rivals, we are now in 2nd place in League play with a (4-2) record.”