The men’s basketball team (14-11 overall and 8-6 in the Bay Valley Conference) completed a conference sweep of the College of Marin (3-20 overall and 2-13 in the BVC), earning an 88-85 victory in overtime Friday in the Gymnasium.
Despite controlling the action for the majority of the contest, CCC failed to completely pull away from the Mariners allowing them to score a number of late baskets to send the game to overtime.
Freshman guard Eric Jones led the Comets in scoring with 22 points making seven of 17 shots from the field. His dribble-drives into the paint consistently broke down the Mariner defense allowing the Comets a number of shots from the outside.
Jones also notched 11 assists in the contest. Despite those open looks, the Comets only shot 20 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
“I keep getting fouled, that’s why some of my shots weren’t falling from the outside,” Comet forward Demond Washington said.
CCC jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter and kept the small crowd on its feet with explosive dunks from Comet forward Trevon Silas.
Silas, who finished the game with 16 points, made seven of his 10 shot attempts and was often outsized by Mariner center Kevin Kahriman.
Although outsized, Silas used his quickness to beat Marin’s two 6-feet-9-inch centers to rebounding position and regularly scored on shots inside of the paint.
During the game Comet coach Miguel Johnson regularly implored his team to work harder on the boards and for his guards to block out Marin’s lengthy point guard who regularly attempted to crash the boards for rebounds.
Johnson said, “I know number 2, guard Dereck Morgan, averages about 11 to 12 rebounds per game. We need to get in position, box out and grab the damn rebound.”
Unable to match CCC’s athleticism, the Mariners remained in the contest with opportunistic shooting and by taking advantage of seven Comet first half turnovers.
At halftime, CCC led the Mariners 41-35.
The Comets return to action tonight to play Napa Valley College tonight at 5:30 p.m. in Napa.
With a six-point lead coming out of the break, CCC began to let up on its intensity.
Coach Johnson encouraged his team to run their plays the way they were designed and he even folded a dry-erase clipboard while trying to ease his frustration.
The second half was marred by bad calls by the officials.
Multiple times in the second half, as Jones drove into the paint, Mariner defenders slapped across his body and hands with no calls by the referees.
However, Mariner players routinely found themselves at the free throw line, which stopped the clock, allowing the visiting team to claw back into the contest.
Midway through the second half, Marin had tied the game and momentum was swinging in their favor.
As the Mariners clawed back into the contest, a scary moment quieted the Gymnasium.
On a fast break, 6-feet-9-inch Mariner forward Joey Potts dashed down the sideline looking to retaliate for a Silas dunk with a dunk of his own. As he dribbled toward the hoop, Jones, who is 6-feet tall, also raced toward the basket, leaped into the air to meet Potts at the rim to block his shot.
Jones’ right hand met the ball, just before reaching the rim sending Potts crashing to the hardwood with all of his weight landing on his right arm.
After examination by the athletic trainer, it was determined that Potts had a broken wrist.
The lull in action reinvigorated the Mariners and after making three consecutive shots while allowing only one by the Comets, the Mariners tied the game just before the end of regulation.
The Comets had a shot at winning the contest late in regulation, however, a highly contested, fall away 3-pointer is not the play Johnson called.
“Run the plays that I call,” Johnson said in the huddle after the regulation-ending play. “Don’t go out there doing whatever you want to do. Stick to the game plan.”
Marin outscored CCC in the second half 40-34 leaving the score tied 75-75 at the end of regulation.
The Comets owned overtime by hitting timely shots from behind the arc and by limiting Mariner players to tough shots from outside of their comfort zone.
In the end, Jones and guard Kemare Wright sealed the victory for the Comets by preventing Mariner guards from getting Marin’s offense into a comfortable position to score.
The Comets outscored Marin in 13-10 during overtime and eventually won the game 88-85.