Reserves Rodriguez, Pacheco Help Warriors in Own Way

Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), March 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

Reserves Rodriguez, Pacheco Help Warriors in Own Way


MISSION HILLS

Alemany plays for its first state basketball championship today in Sacramento, and it might find inspiration at the end of its bench.

As the Warriors (32-4) face Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco in the Div. III championship, it can look to 5-foot-9 seniors Niko Rodriguez and Richard Pacheco.

Rarely does either reserve see the floor - Rodriguez has made 3 of 16 shots this season and Pacheco is 0 for 8 - but they're valuable contributors for a team that's looking to finish on top in its most successful basketball season in school history.

"It's a little humbling sitting on the bench, but it doesn't bother me," Pacheco said.

"I know there are other guys on the team with more talent, so that just makes me work that much harder. It's about the team, so I'm a winner. It's been a great experience playing for Alemany."

A big part of the Alemany duo's responsibilites is to help their teammates get better, and Rodriguez and Pacheco have done a good job, as the Warriors - led by Southern Section Div. III-A players of the year Marqueze Coleman and Max Guercy - have climbed to No. 5 in Cal-Hi Sports' state rankings.

"Niko and Richard are both really important, and they've both helped us build on the team's success," Coleman said.

"In practice, they go really hard. You know what? Sometimes the practices around here are harder than the games."

Alemany coach Tray Meeks wishes everyone could play equal minutes. …

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