OAKLEY -- Senior Elliott Smith's rebound and putback with 3.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter propelled the host Freedom High boys basketball team to a thrilling 74-72 win over Rodriguez-Fairfield on Saturday night in the CIF Division I regional quarterfinals.

Smith's basket capped a wild fourth quarter that saw seven lead changes.

Third-seeded Freedom, which set a record for wins in a season with 25 and advanced to a regional semifinal for the first time in school history, will play at No. 2 Jesuit-Carmichael (29-3) n Tuesday.

Smith took over playing point guard as team captain Rodney Pope fouled out with 2:35 remaining with the Falcons leading 64-62. Pope finished with 17 points and seven assists.

"I had to take over the game, I felt like I had to do it for (Pope)," said Smith, who finished with 26 points -- 20 in the second half -- and 16 points.

"We knew we had to get the ball in (Smith's) hands," Falcons coach Drew Torres said. "(Rodriguez) played a lot of pressure, so we spread it out and had Elliot create something."

The Mustangs held a 40-30 halftime lead thanks to 12 points from junior point guard Kyle Williams, who finished with 20 points for Rodriguez.

After halftime, Freedom's defense adjusted and held the Mustangs to 13 points in the third quarter, as the Falcons trailed 53-49.

The Falcons took a 54-53 with 7:10 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 3-point play from Smith, the first of seven lead changes in the final seven minutes.


Advertisement

Freedom 74, Rodriguez 72

Rodriguez

McLean 4 0-0 9, Kyle Williams 5 11-19 23, Abraham 5 2-4 13, Keanu Williams 2 0-0 4, Reed 6 1-2 13, Moore 1 8-10 10. Totals 23 22-35 72.

Freedom (25-6)

Evans 1 0-0 2, Donovan Pope 0 0-2 0, Smith 10 6-10 26, Mallett 1 0-0 3, R. Pope 7 3-7 17, McIntosh 5 2-3 12, Roxas 1 0-0 2, Mixon 5 2-6 12. Totals 30 13-30 74.

Rodriguez          18          22          13          19--          72

Freedom          12          18          19          25--          74

3-point goals: Kyle Williams, McLean, Abraham, Mallett. Fouled out: Pope. Highlights: F -- Smith 16 rebounds; McIntosh 10 rebounds; Mixon 10 rebounds; Pope 7 assist, 4 steals.