Comets stall in tournament

By Dylan Collier, Advocate Staff

City College of San Francisco hosted the Golden Gate Classic men’s basketball tournament Friday through Sunday, featuring eight teams in double-elimination competition. 

The Comets (1-7 overall) played two close games, first against San Joaquin Delta College (3-3 overall) and then against Sierra College (3-5).

While the Comets lacked in offense in the first half of the Delta game, they cut their point deficit to 11 in the second half with 5:26 on the clock.

“Our overall lesson learned is that we have to click on all cylinders and everybody needs to be on the same page,” sophomore guard Dwight Wilson said.

On Saturday, the Comets matched up against Sierra in a game they lost by two points in the final seconds when the Wolverines went ahead 66-65, sealing the win.

In the second half of the game, the scoring went back and forth between CCC and Sierra. The Comets found themselves in a tie game at 56-56. Sierra then took the lead 62-56 with five minutes left. The Comets put together a few plays and came back to take the lead with 40 seconds on the clock.

Sierra then called a timeout with 18 seconds on the clock and scored out of the break, putting the total at 65-64, with the Comets barely holding onto the lead.

Sierra scored the winning two points in the last four seconds of the game.     

The Comets are working with a young team this year with 12 freshmen and only three sophomores.

Contra Costa College will play in the Foothill College Tournament on Friday at 6 p.m. and depending on whether they win or lose, they will have a chance to showcase their talent against either Delta or Butte colleges on Saturday.

After a disappointing loss on Friday, CCC came back with a hunger and desire to win, playing better basketball defensively and forcing more turnovers in the Sierra game.

The team played the game with players that don’t usually start, giving all players good experience in the tournament.

Freshmen guard Kolman Kelly stepped up, scoring eight out of the team’s first 18 points within the first four minutes of the game by going 4-4 inside the key. The Comets were making approximately 80 percent of their shots and maintained the lead throughout the first half of the game. 

“Forward Curtis Harris, guard Demar Dunn and guard Dru Solis, all freshman, have been crucial leaders on our team this year,” Comet coach Miguel Johnson said.

Johnson gave his team a pep talk during the halftime break and told his players to maintain consistency rebounding the ball, execute offensively, and shoot well from outside the key.

Since they’re such a young group, the Comets are adjusting to the physicality of the game while playing against older teams with a little more experience. 

“In the second half of the game against Sierra, we played as if we were related to one another, but just came up a little short. We played with more energy, and we saw how much effort it takes to play competitively,” guard Jalen Walton said. Collectively, CCC did better rebounding the ball in that game.

He said after the tournament the players  have been taking practice more seriously.