By Ryan Kuhn
The Rams will get a chance at redemption when they play Saddleback College Gauchos in the first state semi-final game March 11 at Ventura College. This will be a rematch of last year’s state title game that sent the Rams home without the championship win.
After falling 63-57 to the Gauchos one year ago in the same building, sophomores like Jonathon Williams are looking forward to this payback opportunity.
“I was excited,” he said, after hearing the news that they will face Saddleback again. “It is good that we played them before. We are ready.”
The Gauchos, who finished second in the Orange Empire Conference come into the state semi-finals with a record of 27-6, but Williams is confident.
“If we play hard everyday, and do what we always do, we will be fine,” Williams said.
The Rams blew through the Northern California playoffs with wins against Butte, Reedley and Santa Rosa averaging all three wins by a 22-point margin per game. With the three victories, their winning streak improved to 25 games.
Starting Rams forward Fred Sturdivant said the key to their success is team chemistry, and that the team is almost like a family.
But he knows the team has potential to play better than they did last Saturday against Santa Rosa Junior College.
“It wasn’t our best performance, but we pulled it off,” he said.
Sophomore Colin Chiverton led the way for the Rams with a career-high 41 points, including sinking nine 3-pointers in his last game at the Wellness Center.
Williams and Chiverton are looking to lead their teammates onto the biggest stage in community college basketball.
“They just have to stay focused, go out there and have fun,” Williams said. “They can’t be jittery.”
The Rams are poised within two victories of a state championship title, something they haven’t done since 1962.
“It would be a letdown if we do not win, but I know we are going to,” Williams said with a smile.
City College will play their semifinal game on March 11 at 5 p.m., and if the team is successful, the state championship game will be on March 13 at 1 p.m.