SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Cosumnes River men's basketball team takes on the Chabot Gladiators this afternoon in the 35th Annual James Clark Classic championship game. The Hawks will look to continue to play well at home this season, this afternoon, as they play host to an undefeated Gladiators team.
CRC enters the championship game fresh off a pair of double-digit victories to open the tournament. The Hawks defeated Porterville in the second round game, 86-68, led in part by a 17 point performance from AJ Bridges. Bridges (pictured right), also grabbed four rebounds while recording six assists in the victory. In total, five Hawks players scored in double-digits, as they converted nearly 55% of their attempts from the field. That victory came on the heels of their 76-48 victory over Columbia in their opening round matchup.
The Hawks hosted Columbia in a match-up that also served as the team's home opener for the 2013-14 season. The game was evenly contested for much of the first-half, as the teams exchanged leads for much of the first ten minutes of the ball game. The Hawks began to pull ahead slightly during the final ten minutes of the first half, but the Claim Jumpers continued to hit big shots and converted their free throw attempts, keeping the game tight. Cosumnes River managed to take a six point advantage into the half, as they led 34-28 after 20 minutes of action. CRC pulled away in the second half however, as AJ Bridges once again led the Hawks offensive attack, scoring nine of his 18 points in the second half to put the game away for good. CRC built a 20 point advantage early in the second half, before pulling away late, as Cosumnes River defeated Columbia 76-48 in the opening round of the 35th Annual James Clark Classic.
Chabot enters today's contest undefeated, with six straight victories to open the 2013-14 season. The Gladiators followed up their 94-49 victory over Merced in the opening round with a 78-63 victory over Napa Valley last night. The team has posted double-digit victories in every game this season but one, and currently sits atop the always competitive Coast Conference North Division. They're led inside by University of Memphis-transfer Matt Simpkins, and a bevy of reserves, as Chabot has played as many as 17 players in games this season. On the perimeter, the team features veteran point guard Greg Brown, and wing Paris Davis. Freshman guard Leo Smith, as well as NJCAA-transfer Cortez Barrett have been effective this season, but were inactive for last night's contest.
The championship game takes place today 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.