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Comets fall in second round

Comets suffer 98-80 as Rams derail playoff run with 3-point shooting barrage

By Lorenzo Morotti, associate editor
On March 6, 2014

  • Comet guard Ahjahna Coleman (right) tries to find room to move against Rams’ center Geena Greene during CCC’s game against City College of San Francisco on Saturday. Qing Huang / The Advocate
  • Women’s basketball coach Paul DeBolt attempts to gain his team’s attention during a timeout at CCC’s Regional Playoff game against City College of San Francisco on Saturday. The Comets lost, 98-80. George Morin / The Advocate
  • Comet center Joie Wyatt (33) jumps for a rebound against Ram guards Chanel Malone (3), Franeka Hall (20) and Kiah Knox (24) during CCC’s game against City College of San Francisco on Saturday. Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

SAN FRANCISCO - The women's basketball team ended its playoff run with a 98-80 loss at City College of San Francisco in its first Northern California Regional Playoff game since 2010 on Saturday.
The game was the highest scoring match of any of the Round 2 playoff games. It was also the game with the highest number of fouls called.
The 12th-seeded Comets (20-9 overall, 12-4 in the Bay Valley Conference) trailed the entirety of the match because of too many missed shots, but were able to keep the score within 15 points until the final 10 minutes of the second half.
The fifth-seeded Rams (25-3 overall, 12-0 in Coast-North) extended their lead over the Comets to 20 points in the last 10 minutes of the second half. They scored consistently on fast breaks and showed their shot prowess when the strong Comet defense kept them trapped behind the 3-point line.
The Rams opened and closed the game making shots from behind the 3-point line. They were able to sink 14 of 32 long distance shots against the Comets. Eight of those 3-pointers came in the first half.
The Rams shooting expertise from a distance propelled them into Round 3 of the playoffs tonight at Sierra College in Rocklin.
"When they (CCSF) make shots like they did it's hard to play against them," Contra Costa College women's basketball coach Paul DeBolt said. "It was a hard-fought game."
Offensively, the Comets struggled to score from anywhere but the free throw line during the first half. During the second half, the referees were not calling nearly as many fouls for the Comets.
The Comets baited fouls by slashing into the key during full-court offensive breaks, keeping their offensive heart still beating. At the final buzzer the Comets had gone 31-40 from the free throw line.
Comet point guard Jewel Rogers missed three of her own long shots during the first 15 minutes, but disappointed anyone who believed she would have a bad game on Saturday. Rogers slashed into open space past the Rams' defense to sink four field goals at the baseline, and sank nine of the 10 free throws she attempted in the opening half.
With five minutes remaining in the first half the Comets were able to force a quick long shot that hit the rim. Guard Raven Caldwell scooped up the defensive rebound. Comets' guard Tynisha Adams received a midcourt pass in the right corner and went for the 3-pointer, sinking it effortlessly.
That brought CCC to 35 points, just five points shy of the Rams' 40.
Defensive coverage by center Joie Wyatt and forward Caldwell stopped the Rams at the baseline, repeatedly forcing turnovers or getting rebounds.
Wyatt was the backbone of the Comets' defense, playing in the center position and finishing the game with nine offensive rebounds and eight defensive rebounds.
Wyatt was responsible for guarding CCSF's center Geena Greene. Wyatt's coverage kept Greene scoreless despite seven attempts on the hoop and three offensive rebounds.
Rogers said the team almost came back but stopped "executing" long distance shots or "finishing" the layups on the break. She led in points scored with 28, the highest of the game.
The Rams extended the lead to 11 points over the Comets, leading 54-43 at halftime.
CCSF guard Kiah Knox said, "They (CCC) are a good team and they had their share of offensive runs but we had to play our game - not theirs. We had to play better defensively and stay out of foul trouble."
Rams' guard Raquel Torres led the Rams in points scored with 24. She sank 3 of her 12 three-point attempts in the first half and added two more early in the second.
Ten minutes remained in the game and the Rams led 79-59. It was then that DeBolt made a tactical defensive change to a triangle and two.
This defense allows two players to play man-to-man defense and three a triangle zone, focusing on taking away 3-point opportunities for two of CCSF's best shooters.
The tactic helped the Comets cut the lead to 10 points in the final five minutes, but CCC could get no closer.
"It was too late," DeBolt said post-game. "We got behind and dug a hole for ourselves that we couldn't get out of."
Rogers said the Rams' defensive coverage in the paint did not leave much space to work with the whole game.
"We could have made more runs into the key to draw the defense out of position to open up space and give the shot takers more space," she said.
"They (CCC) fought hard until the end," CCSF guard Franeka Hall said post-game. "All the free throws they made helped them stay in the game and they came out as strong as we were expecting them to."
The game ended with a total of 48 personal fouls between both teams. CCC had 22 and the Rams had 26.
"They (CCSF) are a good team," DeBolt said. "I told the team that they should not feel bad about losing this game. We played hard. (CCSF) made shots and we didn't. That's basketball." 

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