Vintage’s threesome of double-digit scorers leads them to crucial win over rival Napa

By Kyle Foster, photo courtesy of Don Lex (LuckyDuckImages.com

kfost91197@gmail.com

Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive

When a team starts making shots in basketball oftentimes that’s all it takes for them to win. That was the case Friday when Vintage took down their crosstown rival Napa 67-60.

In the first half the Indians (9-13 overall, 2-3 Monticello Empire League) were doing just enough to lead, but in the second half the Crusher threesome of Imani Lopez, Jared Rendon, and David Fernandez started making their shots, and that was enough to lead Vintage (11-10, 3-2 MEL) to the win.

“My teammates driving kicking looking for the open shots,” Lopez said of what changed from the first to the second half. “In the first half they just weren’t falling, I thought about it, and then just fixed what I needed to fix.”  

“That’s what I hope, and I pray, and it frees up our big guys inside, so Hunter (Gutierrez) did a great job tonight,” Vintage coach Rob Johnson explained of how everything changed for the Crushers in the second half. “It was a team efforts, so if we can get our outside (shooting) going, our inside is wide open.”  

“He got hot,” Napa coach Zack Cook said of Lopez’s big second half. “They just got confident, and got rolling and when you play Big Game there’s always one or two guys that kinda do things that maybe you don’t game plan for and they stepped up and number 13 (Lopez), and 34 (Rendon) they all stepped up, and hit some big shots.”  

On the night Vintage was led by their big three, who all scored in double-digits on the night.  Lopez had 24 points with four rebounds. Fernandez added 13 points, and four rebounds. Rendon also pitched in 12 points with two rebounds.

“We’ve got a lot of those guys whether that’s Jared, or David, Imani is one of those guys that can all score in bunches, so we just need to get it to a rhythm where he’s going,” Johnson said of the Crushers double-digit scorers. “They set in the one-three-one a lot, so once they switched up to the man I knew ‘hey this is Imani time’, so we go ahead and he created things, so that just freed him up to do what he needed to do,” Johnson added on Lopez’s massive game.   

The win is Vintage coach Rob Johnson’s first Big Game win in his first try.

“The players did a great job today, it was easy to coach, I told them their energy won’t be the issue, more just slowing down and finding their rhythm, so we did in the second half, so it was awesome,” the coach said of beating rival Napa on the first try. “I’m happy for not only the players, but the school, and the fans that come out, so it’s a great win for the Crushers.

Joe Carnazola led the Indians on the evening. He had 20 points, and eight rebounds. Stephen Blume had an 11-point effort accompanied with a rebound.

“I think they’re looking for us more, but it’s just how we’re getting open off of screens we have a lot of set plays to get us open and stuff, I mean mostly what coach Cook is doing is trying to get us open since that’s what he wants us to do, and people are executing them,” Blume said of him, and Carnazola always leading Napa.

Both teams will continue MEL play next Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Vintage will host Wood-Vacaville, while Napa will visit Rodriguez-Fairfield.

 

Kyle Foster

Hello I'm Kyle Foster. I'm the the main sportswriter for Napa Sports Association, you can reach me at kfost91197@gmail.com with story ideas. Follow my Twitter @NapaKyle for game updates!

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