SANTA ROSA, Calif.- It all comes down to the last game of the regular season for the Hawks as they square off with Santa Rosa. CRC is currently 2nd in the Big 8 Conference with an overall record of 22-7, and a conference record of 10-3. Santa Rosa is 1st in the Conference with an overall record of 18-8, and a conference record of 11-2. The two teams will meet for the second time this season on Friday, February 21st at 7:30 in Santa Rosa.
Men's Basketball has had a great season so far and looks to end the regular season with a Big 8 Championship. Winning this title will help the Hawks get a solid set up for the post season, as well as start the playoffs off on the right foot. The Hawks and the Santa Rosa Bear Cubs met already this season on January 28th at Cosumnes River College. At the time the Hawks were undefeated in the Big 8, but fell this night 83-78 for the first time in Conference play. However the Hawks hurt themselves throughout this whole game with shooting and turnovers.
The Hawks put on the worst shooting performance of the entire season this night, shooting 25-67, 37.3% from the field. Also CRC is consistent with the three point shot, however this night the long ball was not falling for them as they went 7-30, 23.3% on the night. Despite the struggle from shooting the Hawks showed that they were not quitters. The fact that they could shoot this poorly and still come up just shy of the win against a good Santa Rosa team, shows that the players have heart and can overcome adversity when put through it in a tough uphill battle.
One aspect that the Bear Cubs prepared well for was being able to shut off Jaycob Velasco. The Bear Cubs focused the entire night on trying to shut him off, and despite not getting the good looks from the field that Velasco usually gets, he played well under the basket, ending the night with 14 rebounds. Another blow that the Hawks took was towards the end of the game, star point guard AJ Bridges suffered a high ankle sprain. This was a crucial loss late in the game for the Hawks because Bridges was putting a great performance, leaving the game with 26 points and 6 assists. Bridges is back, healthy and ready to go for the big matchup.
This Big 8 Championship looks to be a good one, Santa Rosa is on a hot streak of 7 wins in a row, and CRC is looking for revenge from the last faceoff against the Bear Cubs. Early in the game, the Hawks will look to set the tempo. Bridges, Velasco, and TJ Williams lead the Hawks into tonight's game. Bridges is 1st in the Big 8 in scoring, averaging 17.4 points a game, and scoring a total of 226 points overall. Velasco is 6th in scoring in the Conference, and he is averaging 13.8 points a game, shooting 51.7% a game, and having a total of 180 points. Williams is 17th in the Conference, averaging 11.5 points a game, and shooting 58.9% a game. However the Hawks will look to control the rebound battle under the basket to win this game. Williams is 2nd in the Big 8 in rebounding, averaging 8.7 a game, and having a total of 113. Velasco is right behind him, ranking 3rd in the Big 8 with 8.5 rebounds a game, and 111 overall in the Conference.
Like every game, Head Coach James Giacomazzi will have his team prepared mentally and physically to play the best most competitive basketball to win this game. All in all, the players already know what it takes to win, and are ready to win the Big 8 Conference.