With four seconds remaining, junior forward Jose Figueroa stole the ball from a Brophy player, stopped just above the free throw line, squared his shoulders and took a jump shot that touched nothing but net, ending the 37-37 tie to clinch the win.
But this wasn’t just any win; it marked the 600 career victory for varsity coach Argie Rhymes.
“I was thinking that we’ve got to get that 600 win, no matter what,” Figueroa said. “I hit the shot. The team played hard.”
Another key play was made with eight seconds left, when freshman guard Ryan Rhymes was fouled while shooting. He went to the line for two free throws.
“I was nervous because I didn’t think I would make them,” Ryan Rhymes said. “I remembered what my dad said about following through.”
He made the free throws, which tied the game and set up the steal and shot by Figueroa.
“After I made them I immediately ran to defend my man so Brophy wouldn’t score. I wasn’t thinking about the shot. I was thinking about defense.”
The team celebrated after the buzzer went off, and the players lifted Figueroa on their shoulders.
“That was a great shot he hit,” Ryan Rhymes said. “He was on all night and that was his shot to take.”
Everyone was also able to celebrate with Argie Rhymes and he was presented the game ball for his 600 win.
“It was an exciting game,” Argie Rhymes said. “The players played outstanding defense. I love to see a team that when they get on the line they don’t give up. And they work for their objective.”
Figueroa led the team with 17 points, nine rebounds and 10 steals.
“I think the game was really good,” said sophomore guard Jacouri Woods. “We played really hard. We just wanted to go out there and get the win, and we did.”
The team really wanted to win and give their coach this milestone.
“Coach Rhymes is a great coach and he deserves that 600 win,” Figueroa said. “I’m just glad I was able to give it to him.”
Very few coaches ever achieve this goal during their career.
“It was a great game and a great for the program,” varsity assistant coach Gilbert Lopez said. “As a special note, it was a special moment for Coach Rhymes as he won his 600 game. It will help us get prepared for league play.”
Argie Rhymes is very proud of his team.
“During the game I always thought we had a chance to win,” Argie Rhymes said. “When you are down, that is when you fight harder and give it all you’ve got. I’ve always been that way. That is what makes me so proud of these kids. They made mistakes, but they didn’t give up.”
Argies Rhymes appreciates his coaching staff and all the support he has been given this year.
“The whole coaching staff is doing a great job,” Argie Rhymes said. “It makes the job easier when you have people knowledgeable about the game helping you. I appreciate the students, staff and administrators who have been so supportive. You have to have that for a successful program. It takes more than coaches.”
With most of the season still remaining, the team still has work to do.
“We need to keep working hard,” said Figueroa. “Hopefully it pays off in the end.”
This win means a lot to the team and to their coach.
“Brophy played a nice hard game, but I’m just glad we got the 600 win for my uncle and for the school,” Ryan Rhymes said. “I’m proud of what the team has accomplished and how we’ve grown together as one.”
This article originally appeared in newsprint in the Cornerstone school newspaper, Issue 4, Volume 42 (Dec. 19, 2007).