SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The 35th Annual James Clark Classic tips off this afternoon at 2 PM with the first of four opening round games. The Cosumnes River men's basketball team opens with the Columbia Claim Jumpers at 6 PM, in the team's 2013-14 home opener.
The tournament begins this afternoon at 2 PM with Bay Valley Conference team Alameda (0-1) taking on Central Valley Conference opponent Porterville (4-1). Porterville, under first-year head coach Rob Haynes, is off to one of their best starts in years at 4-1. The team followed up their consolation championship at the "Knight's Invitational" at San Diego City College, with a 106-91 victory over Barstow on Tuesday. Porterville is led by sophomore post Keith Villiamu, a 6'4" Long Beach native who's currently averaging 19.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest. The Pirates will take on the College of Alameda Cougars who enter the tournament with a 0-1 record, following a 90-73 loss to Los Medanos. The team is led by freshman post Tre'Quan Rollins, a 6'6" big man by way of Sidell, Louisiana. Rollins scored 24 points while grabbing five rebounds in the loss against LMC.
The 4 PM game will see Central Valley Conference team Merced Junior College taking on Coast Conference North foe Chabot College of Hayward. Merced JC enters the contest with a record of 0-3, and is led by freshman guard Jermaine Crowder. Crowder, a 6'4" wing from Wilson, North Carolina, is averaging 16.4 points per contest, while shooting 41% from three-point range. Chabot begins the season playing at a very high level, beginning the season with a 4-0 record, taking the Las Positas tournament championship to begin the year. The Gladiators, headed by veteran head coach Denny Aye, are led on the floor by guards Cortez Barrett and Leo Smith.
In the 6 PM contest, host team Cosumnes River hosts the Columbia Claim Jumpers in their home opener. Cosumnes River enters the contest with a 2-1 mark following their taking of the consolation championship at the San Jose City College Tip-off Classic to begin the year. The Hawks are led by sophomore guard AJ Bridges, and last week's CRC Student-Athlete of the Week, Jaycob Velasco (pictured right). Bridges took All-Tournament honors after posting two 30-point performances in three contests, and also leads the team in assists, posting six per contest. Velasco, a 6'7" native of Chico, is averaging 24 points and 13 rebounds per contest to start the year. Columbia College enters the tournament with a 3-1 record under first-year head coach Rob Hoyt. The Claim Jumpers, out of the Central Valley Conference, are coming off an 80-72 victory over Big 8 foe Delta College last Friday. They began the year by taking the consolation championship at the Las Positas tournament earlier this month. Columbia is led by a talented trip of freshmen, headlined by forward Tige Wingo. Wingo, a 6'5" post from Summerville High School, currently leads the Claim Jumpers in scoring and rebounding at 15 points and nine rebounds per contest. Fellow freshmen in guards Rafe King and Marcus Junior lead the Claim Jumpers perimeter attack.
Rounding out the tournament's opening day will be an 8 PM showdown between Napa Valley College and Feather River. Napa Valley, out of the Bay Valley Conference, begins the season with a 0-2 record. The Storm are led by guard D'monte Britt and forward Chris Edens. The Feather River Golden Eagles, out of the Golden Valley Conference, enter play today with a 0-4 record following tournament appearances at Ohlone and Fresno City College. FRC is led by sophomore guard Aaron Brown, who's currently averaging over 22 points per game, while shooting over 50% from the field.
The winner of the 2 PM contest between Alameda and Porterville will take on the winner of the Cosumnes River-Columbia game. That game will be scheduled for 6 PM on Friday. The winner of the 4 PM Merced JC-Chabot matchup will take on the winner of Napa Valley-Feather River. That game will tip-off on Saturday at 8 PM. Consolation bracket games will be scheduled tomorrow for 2 PM and 4 PM. The tournament continues through Saturday with the consolation championship taking place at 12 PM. The third place game will follow at 2 PM, with the championship game to be held at 4 PM.
Tickets are $6 for general admission, $4 for seniors, and $2 for children. Admission is always free for CRC students, staff and faculty. Concessions will be available to purchase at the event.