Even though the Rodriguez High School Mustangs were bigger and more physical than the Cavs were used to, they couldn’t intimidate the boys’ varsity basketball team in their first tournament game.
The Cavs won their first game of the Folsom-Vista Varsity Classic tournament, 54-45, against the Div. II Mustangs at Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom on Dec. 10.
Sophomore Rick Barros III was the leading scorer with 16 points, followed by sophomore B.J. Askew with 13 and sophomore Jayce McCain with 11.
At the beginning their larger opponents seemed to rattle the Cavs, junior Adam Dean said.
Startled, the Cavs fell five points behind early in the first quarter but eventually got their rhythm back, finishing the first quarter with a strong lead.
Then everything clicked during the second quarter.
At the beginning of the second quarter, McCain dove for a loose ball and tipped it to Askew, who, after fighting for possession, threw the ball from half court to a wide-open Barros for a layup. Immediately the crowd of parents and bench erupted into cheers and excitement, driving the players to push harder and keep the lead the rest of the game.
The Cavs scored 20 points in the third quarter, giving them an advantage for the rest of the game.
McCain said the team played especially good defense during the third quarter.
“For about three minutes we didn’t let them score,” he said, “and we also started passing the ball really well and getting everyone involved, which helped us keep and extend our lead.”
The Cavs were unable to sink their free throws, however, missing seven of 18. This hurt the team, especially since the game was very physical with lots of fouls.
The Mustangs started to play even more aggressively in the fourth quarter and made a huge run, shrinking the Cavs’ lead.
But the Cavs settled down and went on a run themselves, moving on to the next round of the tournament.
“We passed well and knocked down good shots, but our defense definitely won us the game,” Askew said.
The Cavs play Vista del Lago High School Friday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. at Folsom High.
And once again size will be an issue.
“Everyone is going to have to rebound,” McCain said, “They also have a really big fan base that cheers a lot.”
—By Alexa Mathisen