By Matthew Paul Maes
City College Rams women’s and men’s basketball teams are hot heading into the CCCAA Coast Conference playoffs with wins at home on February 15, 2019. The women’s team trounced the Las Positas Hawks 81-40 while the men’s team easily won 94-65.
Women’s Coach Derek Lau likes the trajectory of the City College Rams basketball team and when asked what is different this year from last year, “different personalities, different characters on the team, they’re great kids. Both this and last year’s team have been great teams, they all play hard, they all work hard, that’s all that I can ask of them,” Women’s team Coach Lau said.
The Rams played a well designed passing game keeping the Hawks off balance.
Rams Errayana Harfield, Vivian Woo, and Samantha Erisman all had over 20 points on offense, Erisman led all-scorers with 25.
Early in the first quarter Erisman started things off with a well placed 3-pointer soon followed by another from Alexa Prado.
The second quarter didn’t give the Hawks many opportunities at the basket while it was very productive for the Rams. Hatfield got in her first basket while Erisman scored her first outside the key. By the end of the quarter Hatfield made another basket and Erisman made another three pointer giving the Rams a 46-18 lead.
During the third quarter some strong defense by Rika Baba kept the Hawks at bay, while Erisman gave her assistance to Woo who made a fabulous alley-oop. The Hawks were not very productive on either side of the court allowing Annissah Dorsey to get in a 3-point shot. Woo closed a productive quarter with another basket followed by another 3-pointer.
The women’s Rams domination continued into the fourth quarter leading the Hawks 65-36. Tiazha Jackson contributed to the foreseeable win, by making a fabulous three point shot. Woo got the ball again for another three pointer and then settled the day with one last basket.
After the game Coach Lau said that, going forward, “this is a good team, they work hard, they deserve everything that they get. I am looking forward and am really kind of surprised and really kinda anxious to see what they can do in the playoffs.”
Much like City College’s women’s Rams, the men’s team had a great passing game. Most of the starters scored points early in the game starting with 6”7’ freshman Walter Urbina striking first, for two points. Sophomore Austin McCullough followed up by scoring a three from beyond the arch.
The Las Positas Hawks played well but couldn’t keep possession of the ball long enough to score. To make matters worse, 12 minutes into the game, Hawks Head Coach James Giacomazzi had some words for the referee and ended up with a personal foul.
Malcolm Johnson, Austin Harris and Dale Currie keep up the pressure on the Hawks by nailing 3-point shots. Throughout the rest of the half nearly every player on the Rams roster scored leading the game 51-28 at halftime.
The second half started off with a bang when McCullough assisted Urbina for a sweet alley-oop. Much like the first half of the game, the Rams played aggressive defense and played a smart passing game.
Closing in towards the end of the game Currie steals and scores two, while freshman Jason Ricketts scored twice outside the line. Deschon Winston and McCullough each added three points of their own.
Still playing an aggressive game, Winston got fouled and made one of his free throws. As the game drew to a close, Emeka Udenyi drove down the court and added two more points to the score with Currie plugging another 3-point shot. All in all, division one caliber player, McCullough was the leading scorer in the game.
After the game, Johnson commented that even though they have some large shoes to fill, referring to last year’s State Championship Team, “this team is good, maybe even better than last year’s team,” he said.
When asked how his looked going into the playoffs, men’s Basketball Coach Labagh said “we’re looking good right now. We just want to get back to how we were playing before, which was with fast break and pressure.”