Rodriguez goes big at Bashore; Cards fall

Love him or hate him, Manny Ramirez was so good in his first year with the Dodgers that his fan club created a section of Dodger Stadium known as “Mannywood.”

After Manny Rodriguez’s 30-point, 28-rebound effort on Tuesday at the Jim Bashore Classic, it may be time to carve out his own Mannywood in Carpinteria’s gym.

Carpinteria High's Manny Rodriguez

Carpinteria's Manny Rodriguez goes up for two of his 30 points on Tuesday night with Cabrillo's Curt Rosson in his face.

The senior led the host Warriors to third-place at the Jim Bashore Classic on Monday with a 57-45 victory over Cabrillo before Rio Mesa took the tournament title with a 66-52 win over Fillmore.

Rodriguez was the Warriors’ top scorer in all four tournament games, averaging 22.5 points, but always got plenty of help from point guard Kevin Lusterio, who had 19 points against the Conquistadores. Rodriguez and Lusterio combined for 49 of Carpinteria’s 57 points on Tuesday.


“We’re captains for a reason. We both want to take responsibility to lead our team whether it’s through points, rebounds or assists,” Lusterio said after Carpinteria improved to 5-3 on the season.

Rodriguez connected on 10-of-19 field goals and hit 9-of-10 free throws in the second half, while adding three blocks and two assists.

“Manny just rebounded like a madman,” said Warriors head coach John Ward.

The game was actually won at the free throw line, as Rodriguez and Lusterio combined to make 11-of-12 from the charity stripe in the final quarter. Each added a field goal in the fourth, accounting for all of the Warriors’ 15 points.

“There’s a lot of pressure but a free throw is a free throw and you have to make it. It’s a free shot,” stated Rodriguez, started off 1-for-3 in the first half.

Carpinteria made it to the line by attacking Cabrillo’s press.

“We met them over the summer and we knew how physical they were with their press and we were expecting it,” said Lusterio, who had five assists.

Ward also commended Jovan Saenz and Victor Garcia for coming in and limiting Cabrillo’s David Terrones to a tournament-low 11 points.

Bishop Diego had a tougher go of it in the fifth-place contest, dropping the decision to Channel Islands 67-58.

Bishop Diego's Hayden Slaught uses the left hand to avoid the block of Channel Islands' Gabriel Camacho.

Noah Tack gave the Cardinals a good start by scoring 11 of his 13 points in the first half and Elias Munoz recorded a team-high 17 points, but the Raiders erased a third-quarter deficit by using a full-court press to force Bishop Diego into numerous turnovers down the stretch.

“We just don’t value possessions,” offered Cardinals head coach Ray Vazquez, frustrated by the recurring turnovers that plagued his team.

“I would press us,” he admitted.

Bishop Diego held a 42-40 lead with 1:27 remaining in the third quarter when the Raiders put together a 13-3 run that stretched into the fourth quarter to gain command. The Cardinals were able to make 11-of-15 free throws in the final quarter to keep it close, but managed only two field goals, one a last second trey from Munoz with the game already decided.

“We knew we could beat them, it just fell apart at the end,” Munoz said, adding that his team just needs to practice the press-break more and it’ll be fine.

Paul Garcia added nine points and Hayden Slaught collected eight points for Bishop.

Although he was the rebounding king, Rodriguez was not the day’s top scorer as Rio Mesa’s Joseph Soto scored 37 points in the championship game and was named tournament MVP.

Even so, Rodriguez is still top dog in Carpinteria. Or Mannywood.