Sports
April 21, 2019
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A world of difference Credo defeats Tech 15 to 3 Morie with determination Cars and coffee at the Speedway Rancho Cotate defeats Santa Rosa Jaguars crush Cougars Rain does not stop Credo softball Tech High Reim swimming Rancho ends losing streak Seawolves bow out in round 1 of NCAAs Race to the stars Titans secure division win! Rancho Senior Varsity and Coach Hotaling Parker reaches for a basket Wait, I have it! “To be a Cougar, you have to have a heart of a Warrior” Technology High Game on home turf Credo/Technology volley ball Cardenas makes good use of errors Honoring Tech High Lady Titans 24-hours of Lemons at Sonoma Raceway SSU Smith blocks INDYCAR Showcase Honoring Tech High Lady Titans Phan, player of the year Rancho Cotate High School Tech Titans: A Band of brothers and sisters Youth tennis camp is huge success Lacrosse holds free clinic Sept. 21 Advancing to the next round Anudokem leaps for the basket Technology High Cougars lose grip in final minutes Cougars clash with Cardinals Panthers trounce Cougars A collision bound to happen Not where I wanted it Warriors struggled during semi-finals Warriors and All Star Blue RC Girls’ basketball won invitational A much-needed win RC Cougar fan facing surgery receives outpouring of support Heading for a goal Seschin and Curry watch with interest Scott goes up for a shot Roseland beats Tech High Titans Backhanding very nicely Parking lot rally brings families together A nice tight race Nguyen shows thanks Worden lays it up Heart break for Cougars I am the leader of the pack Rancho graduate signs with Holy Names University Laughlin makes a diving save Senior night for the volleyball team A solar car will be on the track Excitement for new football season  Cougars triumph over Vikings Cougars overcome Pumas Finding victory in defeat Move aside Man of Steel, we’ve got Ironman: Ironman triathlon returns to Sonoma County Getting it over the net Kuhlman watches the orb sail Lady Titan’s vs St. Helena Royals win bronze Cougar Ladies dominated Cougars stumble in overtime Winding up for an out Going for a goal Misi ready for the big hit Great job Lady Titans Sandoval scores against Piner Roby goes high Wildcats beat Seawolves Rancho stumbles against Terra Linda Hayes comes in first Titan’s vs. Anderson Valley Balint, pitcher for the U of Oregon signing autographs Ca. School for the Deaf wins 72-60 RP prepares for opening day Local playing with Ducks Northern California locals round out SCCA Championship Runoffs Rancho girls beat El Molino Shots don’t win the game SSU briefs Titans’ baseball: Learning respect for the game Cross country standouts Mata player of the match 8th Annual John’s march against Stomach Cancer Titans lose to Wildcats SSU Track and Field season opener 15 hits fuel SSUs 11 run victory Scoring the final goal Tech High started a blaze Getting better all the time Cougars fought and lost hard Strong showing at Hornet Invitational 39 years for championship Gryphons advance to semi-finals Seawolves place first Rancho NBL Redwood Champions After the last game of the season Seawolves top Jacks in series final two games Pumas defeat Cougars Credo out on the road next week Seawolves sweep over Cal State East Bay Cougar win breaks 39-year dry spell Finished up with a win Tech High Seniors honored Tam defeats Cougars Tigers sweep it all! Exhibition match brings out the stars Cougars march toward playoffs Cougars finish season with a win Playing the last home game Seawolves earn team ethics and sportsmanship award Rancho beat Ross Valley Cronin is safe Cougars' winning streak continues Tomales defeats Tech High Coyotes bring down Titans Credo stumbles in overtime Gray battles to the hoop Racing begins March 9th Is the ball in there? Roseland Beats Tech High RCHS girls’ basketball team honored their seniors Cougars rain on Lobos’ parade First year gymnasts come in third Will I do it? Rancho alumnus signs with New York Red Bulls Wildcats beat Cougars Healdsburg takes the win Martinez has a powerful kick Hayman flips it up Tech High doesn’t have enough steam Lambrecht puts on pressure Alfaro makes a hit

Cougars remain undefeated

  • Keyonee Neal, freshman at Rancho Cotate High School and member of the girls' varsity basketball team, rushes the ball down the court during their game against Windsor High School in a non-conference game. The teams played against each other at Rancho Sat., Jan. 19. Rancho defeated Windsor 61-43. Photo by Jane Peleti

By: Joshua Farestveit-Moore
January 25, 2019

The Rancho Cotate Cougars Girls’ basketball team crushed the Windsor Jaguars, 61-43, Sat. by taking advantage of their opponent’s inexperience. 

The final score implies a lot and not all of it true. For much of the game, the Jaguars matched the Cougars point for point, despite their team’s tiny bench and youthful roster. Fully half of the Jaguars’ ten-woman lineup are freshman and in varsity those few extra years of development can count for a lot. 

Nevertheless, their freshmen made a good show of it, putting their small stature to use when the Jaguars’ sole senior, Torri Russotti, snagged a rebound. The Cougars leapt to contest, but she passed it out of the paint to her waiting teammate and freshman, Meredith Gilbertson. 

By this point in the game Gilbertson had already hinted that she was an agile basketball player, but the next couple seconds clinched it. Gilbertson plunged into the melee under the basket. She twisted sideways and ducked low to dribble through the space between the pressed bodies of two Cougar defenders, then popped up on the other side. The two defenders turned around, but they could only watch as Gilbertson took her shot. 

But the Cougars have a freshman of their own. It’s Keyonee Neal and despite her young age she already stands a respectable 5’9, towering above even a few of the team’s seniors. 

Neal entered the game in a big way when her teammate, Kierra Johnson, snatched the ball out of the hands of Torri Russotti. Russotti took off after Johnson, but Johnson wasn’t one to wait around. She passed to Neal who lurked at the mid court line. 

Neal sprinted for the basket. The Jaguars martialed their entire team, but none could catch her, managing only to slap at her back as she went for a layup. It was a perfect jump. The ball left her fingers, rolled along the rim and fell into the basket. 

The first half ended with the Cougars ahead by only a single point. Eventually, though, the team’s superior size and deeper bench began to take its toll. The Jaguars grew tired and sluggish, unable to match the Cougars’ constant stream of fresh substitutions. 

“[Newton’s] got fourteen kids on his roster and he played them all. So they stayed fresh. We only had eight,” Jaguars’ coach, Joe Passalacqua, said. “It hurts when you don’t have the numbers. Girls get tired and when they get tired they get lazy.”

It showed when the Cougars’ Mackenna Menton-Porter intercepted a sloppy Jaguar pass. The Jaguars were slow to respond, but they managed to get down the court in time to stick two of their defenders in Porter’s way. Porter ignored them, charging the basket. She used her superior size to muscle through their hands and leapt into the air for a layup. 

After that the game turned heavily in the Cougars’ favor. Their coach, Mario Newton, kept a keen eye on his team’s morale, pulling out players who showed signs of sloppy play or began to tilt. 

“As a coach I want to reward the players that are playing well,” Newton said. “We were calm in the locker room. I asked them, ‘Hey, do you think we could play better than that?’ They said absolutely. They came out the second half and they were much better because they played Rancho basketball.”

The win means the Cougars remain undefeated in conference play. That’s a pretty big deal for a team whose last championship banner dates all the way back to the winter of 1980. The banner has yellowed and faded with time, but it still hangs in Rancho Cotate’s gymnasium to this day and with the new gym slated to open sometime in the spring, this year feels like the perfect year to bring home another one. 

Next up for Rancho Cotate is an away game against De Anza. It’ll take place Jan. 26 and be the third to the last game of the season.