Im­manuel falls to Ri­bet’s clos­ing run in state fi­nal

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY THOMAS FREY

Im­manuel High fans filled three sec­tions of Golden 1 Cen­ter on Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon for the CIF State Divi­sion IV boys bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onship game

This Ea­gles team had fi­nally got­ten over the re­gion­als hump that oth­ers be­fore it hadn’t con­quered, and sup­port­ers of the pri­vate school from Reed­ley didn’t want to miss the mo­ment.

They came tan­ta­liz­ingly close to cel­e­brat­ing a state ti­tle be­fore Ri­bet Academy-Los An­ge­les pulled away in the fi­nal min­utes for a 60-49 vic­tory.

“There was a ton of blue up in the crowd and we were re­ally happy with that,” Im­manuel coach Chris Woods said. “We had a stretch here in the state play­offs and we had a bunch of home games and they were be­hind us and sup­port­ing us so I’m glad to see them com­ing out.”

The game was tied 46-46 with 3:54 to play in the fourth be­fore the Frogs (27-3) closed with a 14-3 run.

“That was the turn­ing point. They went on a bit of a run and we weren’t able to an­swer it,” Woods said. “Bas­ket­ball is a game of runs and we just didn’t have enough min­utes left in the game to make our last one.”

All sea­son, Im­manuel (26-9) was used to play­ing in close games. On 11 oc­ca­sions, Ea­gles games were de­cided by five points or less and in six of those, the game was within two points.

In five of the eight play­off games Im­manuel won to get to Sacra­mento, the Ea­gles won by five points or less five times.

Woods said he wasn’t wor­ried when Ri­bet started the game with a 10-3 lead be­cause he had seen his team claw back into games.

“We’ve had stretches this

year of com­ing back in over­time and win­ning games and last-sec­ond layups and com­ing down from 13 with two min­utes left,” Woods said. “Through­out this game, I wasn’t wor­ried when they got up be­cause I knew our guys could come down and hit the big shots. I just feel like we ran out of time there.”

When Im­manuel tied it 14-14 be­fore the first quar­ter had ended, its fans were on their feet.

“It was like a home game out there,” said sopho­more for­ward Win­ston Wil­liams. “You have peo­ple sup­port­ing you and that re­ally mat­ters to us.”

Wil­liams said that when he walked into the arena for the first time Fri­day he was awestruck. He was en­ter­ing the home of NBA play­ers he con­sid­ers to be role mod­els. And on Sat­ur­day, he grabbed re­bounds as if he was Kings cen­ter Wil­lie Cauley-Stein.

Wil­liams pulled down 18 re­bounds and said that head­ing into the game, his coaches told him that his re­bound­ing would be a key. In the sec­ond half, five of his nine re­bounds were on of­fense to ex­tend pos­ses­sions.

Shawn Rodgers led the Ea­gles with 14 points. Jor­dan Ro­driguez and Kaleb Daglish each scored 10.

RICH PE­DRON­CELLI As­so­ci­ated Press

Im­manuel High’s Shawn Rodgers drives to the bas­ket Sat­ur­day against Ri­bet Academy’s Ig­na­cio Ca­ma­cho dur­ing the first half of the CIF Divi­sion IV state high school boys bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onship game in Sacra­mento.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.