MODESTO, Calif.- Head Coach James Giacomazzi and his Cosumnes River Hawks extended their current winning streak to eight games, as they defeated Napa Valley 75-66 in the 77th MJC College Basketball Tournament semifinals. The Hawks, 3-0 in the tournament thus far, will take on Fresno City tonight in the championship game at 7 PM. CRC last took on Fresno City in the Northern California Regional Finals last season.
CRC got off to a slow start for the third consecutive game, spotting Napa Valley 12 points to begin the game, and falling behind 22-6 to open the contest. Guards Corey Burrell and Jayson Marquez helped pace the Storm's offensive attack early on, as Napa Valley took advantage of a CRC shooting slump. In all, the Hawks missed their first 11 field goal attempts, and 12 of their first 13 before the CRC offense began to find a rhythm. Cosumnes River's defense helped to stop the bleeding as well, holding NVC to only five points the rest of the first half, as CRC closed the deficit to one at intermission at 27-26.
The Hawks retook control of the contest in the second half, however, as CRC took an early double-digit lead that they would maintain for much of the second half. Guards Trenton Anthony and Mitchell Love helped maintain the lead, hitting five shots from the perimeter, as the tandem combined for 37 points to pace the Hawks. Marquez hit a number of key shots late for the Storm to close the deficit to as little as six points, but NVC wouldn't get any closer, as Cosumnes River defeated Napa Valley 75-66 to advance to the championship game of the MJC Tournament for the first time in their history.
Anthony led all scorers with 20 points, while collected six rebounds and six steals on the night. Love had 17 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the winning effort. Freshman center Donald Mims nearly missed a triple-double, scoring eight points while recording 14 rebounds and 10 blocks in 33 minutes of action. Josh Johnson and David Straughter rounded out the scoring for Cosumnes River, scoring 12 points and 11 points respectively. Corey Burrell and Anthony Marquez led Napa Valley with 17 points apiece in the loss.
Cosumnes River advances to take on #9 Fresno City in the championship game of the MJC tournament. The Rams defeated Allan Hancock and Chabot in the opening rounds, before defeating Diablo Valley in their semifinal game last night. Tipoff for the championship game is scheduled for 7 PM tonight at Modesto Junior College.