Casa Grande High School's Gauchos cleaned everything but the smudge marks off the backboards Wednesday night, clinching a spot in the North Bay League post-season playoffs with an impressive 64-53 win over Santa Rosa.
Now 15-10 for the season and 7-6 in the North Bay League with only a Friday night game at Montgomery remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Gauchos have also qualified for the North Coast Section playoffs. After finishing out against Montgomery, the fourth-place Gauchos will play at Cardinal Newman against the league-champion Cardinals in the first round of the league playoffs.
Casa Grande did a lot of things right in its final home court appearance of the season, but what it did exceptionally well was dominate the backboards. As a team, the Gauchos pulled down 47 rebounds. Drew Busse, playing for the injured Kyle Kaupe, led the way with 10 rebounds, with Jake Ielmorini hauling down nine, Jon Christy eight and Miles Gardea seven. Point guard Tyler Nadolski even got in on the retrieve frenzy with five rebounds.
Santa Rosa, with the loss, dropped out of its quest for both a league playoff spot and the NCS playoffs, falling to 9-16 on the season and 5-9 in league play.
Super sub Aaron Dal Poggetto led a list of Casa Grande scorers with 11 points, with Cetrick Yeanay and Busse each adding 10, Jon Christy nine and Brycen Poarch six.
Dustin Rome with 18 points and Jacob Graves with 16 carried the Santa Rosa scoring.