Players work to secure troupe connection


Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

Comet guard Bobby Syvanthong flies past Corsair guard Brandon Baker for a layup during the Diablo Valley College tournament at DVC on Dec 3

By Mike Thomas, Scene Editor

The men’s basketball team finished 1-2 in the Diablo Valley College tournament that spanned from Thursday to Saturday. A lack of team chemistry played a huge part of the Comets’ defeats.

In its first match of the tournament on Thursday, Contra Costa College (3-3) lost 83-77 to sa. The Corsairs led throughout the entire first half, however some stellar defense and a 3-pointer sunk by Comet freshman guard Rae Jackson cut a 10-point deficit in half. Santa Monica (7-2) led 43-38 at halftime.

“When we were down by 10 our sense of urgency was much higher,” Jackson said, “and we knew we had to be aggressive on defense.”

The Comets struggled to find a rhythm at the start of the second half. However, CCC started to predict the Corsairs’ passing lanes to force some turnovers. After a lay-up by Comet guard Bobby Syvanthong the game was tied 46-46 with 16:20 left in the half.

Comet sophomore forward Larry Wickett split a pair of free throw to help the Comets hold onto a one-point lead with 15:36 left.

CCC was still forcing turnovers, but during the next play it would give possession right back to the Corsairs. The Comets committed 23 turnovers in the game and the majority of them were passes sent out of bounds.

“I feel like we beat ourselves in that game. We didn’t play at our pace,” freshman guard Jason Wright said.

The Comets’ defense forced 13 turnovers in the game, but they did not take advantage of opportunities to score.

After a decent first half behind the 3-point line, going 3-7, it disappeared in the second half as the Comets only made 29 percent of their shots to end the game 5-17.

The Comets also missed some layups and made just 60 percent of  their free throws by the end of the contest.

“We just had a bad shooting day, and the worst part is we have some really good shooters on our team,” Syvanthong said. “(The Corsairs) had more rebounds because of their height — they hustled for the ball quicker than us and their size out-matched ours.”

 The squad is still getting used to playing with each other. The young, talented freshmen and the first year sophomores are still getting used to basketball coach Miguel Johnson’s system. 

“We have a lot of great talent,” Syvanthong said. “As soon as we come together I think we will be a great team.”

Wright agreed. “The season has just started and the talent is there. As soon as everyone connects and gels we will be an unstoppable team.”

The Comets got back on track against San Jose City College (2-7) by winning 68-53 on Friday. The Comets had control throughout the entire game, and forced 42 turnovers on the Jaguars.

While last year’s Comet team lacked size, this roster has two centers and a handful of power and small forwards with the size and wingspan to defend and compete for more rebounds.

“When we start out strong we play very well,” Syvanthong said. “We played with a lot of energy and heart in that game, and when we play together, we’ll definitely get the wins.”

Comet freshman forward Jeremiah Alston had a 75 percent shot success rate with 15 points, going 3-4 from the 3-point line. Jackson had 11 points and made 45 percent of his shots by the end of the game.

CCC lost 78-68 to College of Sequoias on Saturday to finish sixth in the eight-team DVC tournament. Wickett and Syvanthong combined for 30 points in this game.

“This season is different already because of the amount of talent we have,” sophomore guard Danzel Walker said. “Offensively, we are coming together and as we get in the flow and become more consistent, we can be one of the top teams.”

For any team, especially at this point in the season, there is always room for improvement.

“We have the maturity and ability to shift defenses,” Johnson said. “Now we have to watch our approach to the game.”

The Comets are scheduled to play against Butte College at the Foothill College tournament in Los Altos Hills on Friday at 8 p.m.