Boys basketball: Casa rallies to take down Analy

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Casa Grande’s boys basketball team, after trailing by 12 points in the first half, rallied to defeat visiting Analy, 63-60, Wednesday night to take sole possession of first place in the Sonoma County League.

Casa Grande's Joey Rodriguez, seen in this photo from the Brett Callan Memorial Tournament, scored 19 points on Wednesday to lead the Gauchos to a big win against Analy (THE PRESS DEMOCRAT).

It was Analy’s first league loss in nearly three years and dropped the Tigers to 12-4 and 1-1 in SCL. The Gauchos are 3-0 in league and 13-3 overall.

After trailing by a dozen in the first half, Casa came back to go up 59-50. The final margin was as close as Analy got in the late stages.

Joey Rodriguez led the Gauchos with 19 points. The senior guard also had five assists and six steals. Center Josh Hayworth had 15 points and 15 rebounds while Nick Sherry finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Max Fujii, who came into the game averaging nearly 27 per game, led the Tigers with 19. Eli Alcantar had 16 and Geddy Dukes, 12.

Winning coach James Forni said the turning point came when he called timeout with Analy ahead by 12 in the first half.

“We’ve talked all year about becoming mentally tough and fighting through adversity,” Forni said. “Even though we were down big to a very good team, I could see in my players’ eyes that they were not going to give up.

“They responded big time; they stepped up. A coach couldn’t ask for anymore than they gave.”

Analy’s last SCL loss came Feb. 12, 2008, at the hands of the Gauchos. The final score was 70-52 and Casa was also the home team that night.