Basketball squad stops Mendocino
Comet guard Wilford Carney drives the ball up the court while Eagle guard Jay Poleon attempts to catch up during CCC’s game against Mendocino College on Friday in the Gymnasium. Qing Huang / The Advocate
A crucial foul committed by Eagles' sophomore guard Emmit Clark led to two Comet free throw shots, lifting the men's basketball team to a 59-58 victory against Mendocino College (7-16 overall, 4-9 in the Bay Valley Conference) Friday at the Gymnasium.
Sophomore guard Davion Mize hit the clutch game-winning free throws to keep the team in third place.
Contra Costa College (13-11 overall, 7-5 in the BVC) came out sloppy offensively and defensively in the first half, and Eagles sophomore center Alfred Thomas IV had his way, scoring 12 points, predominately against freshman forward Darius Workman in the post.
"Big 44 (Thomas) had a good game tonight. He was playing physical with me and he had me frustrated," Workman said about the first half.
The Comets could not rebound the ball, and were making bad shot decisions. It was freshman guard Marcel Jones' 10 points that kept the team in the game, but the Comets trailed 33-32 at halftime.
In the second half the Comets' defense forced 15 turnovers on the Eagles. The defense also made adjustments to completely shut out Thomas in the second half, holding him to two points.
"We just tried to push him off the block and started to play him outside and he got some fouls," men's basketball coach Miguel Johnson said.
Sophomore guard Wilford Carney said, "When I came off the bench I felt like we had to play good defense, so we started talking and got in front of the opponents to make plays."
With the Comets trailing 56-54 Mize sank a go-ahead 3-pointer with 37 seconds left in the game, but the Eagles' freshman guard Stacey Butler put them back ahead with a layup down the middle, bringing the score 57-56 with 3.6 seconds left. With no timeouts left, the Comets gave the ball to their best player, Mize, and Clark fouled him with the Comets in the double bonus.
Mize made both of his free throw attempts to seal the win for CCC. Mize said that he loves being in these crucial situations, and "being clutch" is in his genes.
"It was all in my hands and I had to make these free throws. I haven't been shooting them well in the past," he said about his game-winning free throws.
The Comets have to win the rest of their four games to have a chance to make it to the playoffs. Two of those games are on the road at the College of Marin and Solano Community College. CCC is currently 3-4 in its away games.
The Comets are currently on a three-game winning streak.
"It's always tough to play on the road - we have to make good plays and knock down our shots," Johnson said.
Mize said, "At the end of the day its win or go home for us. We have to approach every game like a playoff game."
The Comets' next game is at home against fourth place Los Medanos College at 7:30 today. The Comets lost 80-72 to LMC in Pittsburg on Jan. 14.
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