September 15, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Cougars total team effort throttles Gauchos Swarming defense and power running lead Cougars to win Big win for the Ranch volleyball team This week in RP sports RP Cal Ripken League preparing for busy month Hanford Little League soars to victory Rough fourth quarter costs Cougars Competition brings adults together 9U-Red vs River Park practice in the park Nine all-league players from RCHS softball team Greeting the floor is hard Seawolves bow out in round 1 of NCAAs Credo Gryphon-NCS Champions Jones has gone for an off track excursion Rohnert Park All Stars out executed It will go in, I am sure Titans secure division win! Rancho Senior Varsity and Coach Hotaling Credo wins the NCS Division 6 semi-final 7-0 Cougars stumble in quarter-finals U12/60 places second in tournament Drag racing at Sonoma Cougars looking to break through Wait, I have it! “To be a Cougar, you have to have a heart of a Warrior” Technology High Vintage car racing takes over Sonoma Raceway U12 Boys - Rohnert Park Royals won first place in the Silver Division Big first inning leads U12 to win against Hayward Regionals, here we come! Up in the air we go Credo/Technology volley ball Cardenas makes good use of errors Honoring Tech High Lady Titans 24-hours of Lemons at Sonoma Raceway Technology High recognizes two senior players Muraki brothers lead River Park to win Cal-Ripken Play-off games in ‘B’ Park Not going anywhere INDYCAR Showcase Honoring Tech High Lady Titans Phan, player of the year Rancho Cotate High School Rancho moves on to quarter finals Callinan Junior Racquetball players win National Championships Rohnert Park defeats Nevada 10-0 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 Ing qualified 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 Herman soars 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 Peninsula speeds past Resurrection Parking lot rally brings families together A nice tight race Nguyen shows thanks Worden lays it up Heart break for Cougars The girls received their pennant for their NBL Championship win!  Rancho graduate signs with Holy Names University Laughlin makes a diving save Senior night for the volleyball team RPSC kicks into action Excitement for new football season  Cougars triumph over Vikings Cougars overcome Pumas The Gryphon dominates the Eagles Worden is walk-off winner 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 Rancho ends losing streak Credo wins softball rematch SSU Equestrian wins third 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 Race to the stars Cougars pounce on Tigers Credo closes season with a win 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 Parker reaches for a basket Boys lacrosse played last home game Local playing with Ducks Northern California locals round out SCCA Championship Runoffs Rancho girls beat El Molino SSU briefs Titans’ baseball: Learning respect for the game Game on home turf Vasquez digs in hard 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 SSU Smith blocks A world of difference Rancho plays last home game Scoring the final goal Tech High started a blaze Getting better all the time Cougars fought and lost hard Strong showing at Hornet Invitational Tech Titans: A Band of brothers and sisters Credo defeats Tech 15 to 3 Ranch boys and girls played mixed 39 years for championship Gryphons advance to semi-finals Seawolves place first Cougars clash with Cardinals Morie with determination Seniors being honored Rancho NBL Redwood Champions After the last game of the season Seawolves top Jacks in series final two games A much-needed win Cars and coffee at the Speedway O’Daniel makes it back Pumas defeat Cougars Credo out on the road next week Seawolves sweep over Cal State East Bay Backhanding very nicely Rancho Cotate defeats Santa Rosa A well-deserved win Credo over Tech, 8-1 Cougar win breaks 39-year dry spell Finished up with a win Tech High Seniors honored Tam defeats Cougars Tigers sweep it all! I am the leader of the pack Jaguars crush Cougars Cougars trounce Pumas Cougars score narrow win 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 A solar car will be on the track Rain does not stop Credo softball Cougars shutout Eagles Cougar seniors wave farewell 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? Finding victory in defeat Tech High Reim swimming Tech baseball, a learning season Roseland Beats Tech High Cougars remain undefeated RCHS girls’ basketball team honored their seniors Cougars rain on Lobos’ parade First year gymnasts come in third Will I do it? Girls played last game Rancho alumnus signs with New York Red Bulls Wildcats beat Cougars Healdsburg takes the win Seniors were defeated by the staff Martinez has a powerful kick Hayman flips it up Oppenheim, Sarudiansky, Nudell Named All-PacWest Tech High doesn’t have enough steam Lambrecht puts on pressure SSU Sports Briefs Alfaro makes a hit

Shots don’t win the game

By: Joshua Farestveit-Moore
February 15, 2019

Leslie Bejaran, a junior at Rancho Cotate High School, fights for the ball during the girls’ basketball game against Newark Memorial High school Tues., Feb. 12 at Rancho.  Rancho defeated Newark 62-48 and for the first time in the school’s history, the Lady Cougars won a NCS playoff game and will move on to play in the quarterfinals Fri., Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. against Montgomery High School. The teams will play at Montgomery and fight for a win so they can move into the semifinals.   Photo by  Jane Peleti

See story below.

Height lent the Rancho Cotate Cougars the advantage in their victory Tues. night over the Newark Memorial Cougars, 62-48, at their playoff game held at Rancho Cotate High School. 

In a nutshell it all came down to physicality. Skill and proficiency certainly factored in, but at the end of the day basketball is a numbers game; the team that takes the most shots will most likely pull in the most points. Rebounds are the key. Every rebound means another shot and there’s no better advantage when it comes to getting the rebound than a couple of extra inches. 

Which is exactly what Rancho Cotate had over Newark Memorial. Two of Rancho’s players, Kierra Johnson and Katie Shiebold, stand over six feet tall, whereas Newark’s tallest tops out at five feet, ten inches.  

Rancho’s coach, Mario Newton, was perfectly aware of his team’s advantage. It played central to his strategy. 

“We are blessed with some height,” Newton said. “I wanted to take advantage of our height. We want to try and get as many one, two, or three shot opportunities that we can. When the ball goes up we hit the courts hard.” 

The game began slow. Newark ran a two-woman press, which means they left two players on Rancho’s side of the court each time the ball changed possession. It placed no small amount of pressure on Rancho’s offense and it took them well into the first quarter before they managed to formulate a response. 

But a press only works when one team is faster than the other. It can leave gaps in a defensive pattern that an offensive lineup can slip through, which is exactly what happened when Newark attempted to press Rancho’s Leslie Bejaran. 

Bejaran got possession after Newark let the ball fall out of bounds. Two of Newark’s defenders harassed Bejaran as she moved up the court. She kept cool, though, and tossed the ball over their heads to Rancho’s Makenna Menton-Porter. Porter caught the ball at the half court mark, which put the two Newark defenders behind her. Three remained under the basket. 

Porter charged. She muscled through a gap in Newark’s defensive pattern and went for a layup. There was nothing Newark could do. The ball bounced off the backboard and fell into the basket. “We need to learn to do a more consistent job of boxing out the bigger kids,” Darryl Reina, Newark’s coach, said. “I don’t know how many points on the paint they had, but that’s what killed us: shots in the paint and drives we just couldn’t stop.”

Rancho Cotate might have dominated the paint but did so at the cost of the three-point line. Newark realized quickly that they couldn’t compete in brute physicality with Rancho Cotate—so they got smart. 

Newark’s Rylee Sarasua gained possession in the second half after a Rancho basket and if there’s one defining trait to Sarasua’s playstyle it’s that she’s patient. She’ll take the entire shot clock if she has to. It’s all for a purpose, though, and she spent a good 25 seconds dribbling the ball at half court, just out of reach. 

The play worked. In that instant a pair of Rancho defenders abandoned their position to pressure Sarasua, she passed to her teammate, Jasmin Magpoc. Magpoc, now uncovered, leisurely sank a three-point shot, pulling Newark within just a couple points of Rancho’s lead at the close of the third quarter. 

Yet three-point shots don’t win games. They’re too inconsistent. Eventually a team will miss and if they can’t follow up then they start to crumble. Which is exactly what happened to Newark in the fourth quarter. 

Rancho began to pull ahead and then Kierra Johnson caught a rebound after a missed Newark three-point attempt. She easily shook the two defenders Newark left behind to guard her and went for the basket, dodging between outstretched hands. The ball left her fingers and fell through the net. 

She kept going. In the next 20 seconds Johnson scored another three baskets. Her offensive proved too much and Newark closed out the game 16 points behind. 

Rancho Cotate’s triumph over Newark marks the team’s first playoff victory in living memory. In 2017 and 2018 Rancho qualified for the playoffs, but they always fell short, never advancing past the first round. 

This year is different, according to Johnson. 

“I felt pretty happy that my team this year got to do it—to make it all the way to the playoffs,” Johnson said. “Our chemistry is better. We all vibe together. We play as a team and talk and communicate.”