Roosevelt finishes strong, surges past Peninsula in boys basketball playoff opener

By in Press Enterprise on February 15, 2018

By Eric-Paul Johnson

EASTVALE >> For Roosevelt’s boys basketball team, the flame burned strongest in the fourth quarter.

Make no mistake, however, the spark was ignited in the third quarter and by an unlikely source.

Godfrey Little, a freshman who began the season on the junior varsity team, scored 11 points during a three-minute stretch of the third period. It snapped Roosevelt’s out of a funk, and the Mustangs later used a 16-0 run to beat Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula 68-52 in a Division 1 playoff opener.

“We call him ‘G’ and we told him to be ready,” Roosevelt coach Stephen Singleton said about Little. “We knew Peninsula liked to play a lot of zone, and he is someone who can flat out shoot the ball.”

Peninsula (14-13) actually played man-to-man defense for much of the first half, and that seemed to bother Roosevelt. The Mustangs weren’t attacking the basket or using their height to an advantage.

Roosevelt was trailing 36-31 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Peninsula began to play the zone defense the Mustangs had prepared for, so Singleton turned to Little and sent him in. Little sank his first three shots, all 3-pointers, and added another jumper to put Roosevelt ahead.

“Coach kept telling me I was going to go in,” Little said. “I felt pretty confident from the start. It feels real great. At the start of the season, I never thought I’d get an opportunity like this.”

Wony’a Singleton was a thorn in the side of the Mustang defense all night, using crossovers to get to the basket or create space for step-back jumpers. Singleton finished with 27 points in the game, and his 18-footer with a little more than six minutes remaining gave Peninsula a 50-49 advantage.

Peninsula wouldn’t score again until the final minute. David Agba and Jared Williams combined for […]    

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