Hawks Invitational set to begin amid high expectations

The Cosumnes River College men’s basketball team will be hosting its 7th annual Hawks Invitational basketball tournament beginning on Nov. 10, according to their schedule.

The tournament will last three days, from Nov. 10-12.  In addition to the CRC team, Canada College, Feather River College, William Jessup University’s junior varsity team, Los Medanos, Sacramento City College, College of the Siskiyous and College of the Sequoias will also be participating, according to the men’s basketball website.

The tournament will serve as a measuring stick for how the regular season will be for the Hawks.

“It’s the first tournament of the year,” said sophomore power forward Pejvir “Tony” Gill. “We get three games to see how we work as a team and see how we progressed over the summer and since last year.”

Gill led the CRC team in scoring and rebounding last year and hopes to finish better in the tournament this year. The Hawks lost in the semi-finals to Canada College of Redwood City in the invitational tournament last year and have not won the tournament since 2006.

Winning the tournament seems like a realistic goal according to Gill, who also said that CRC should be able to “win every game.” In order to win the tournament they will have to first beat William Jessup University’s junior varsity team.

The Hawks have three of the five starters returning from last year’s squad.  Those coming back are Gill, sophomore forward James Tillman and sophomore guard Fred Mobley, said Hawks head coach James Giacomazzi.

The men’s team has two starting spots to fill and hope to get those spots figured out by the end of the tournament.

One of those spots is the point guard position which looks like it will be won by freshman Greg Gentry.  But Gentry will have some stiff competition, according to shooting guard Anthony “Tony” Baldocchi.

“Greg Gentry can shoot and pass real well but [sophomore] Allen Brown is a very strong defender, one of our best,” Baldochhi said.

The second spot will be filled by one of two returning players who did not start last year but were “the first two guys off the bench,” Giacomazzi said.

After the tournament, the Hawks have two preseason games before opening the regular season against Delta College on Jan. 3.

“We hope to win the conference and make some noise when we get to the playoffs,” Giacomazzi said.

The women’s basketball team will also be hosting its own tournament, the CRC Invitational, from Nov. 11-13.

Make sure to follow @CRCHawks on Twitter and Like the Cosumnes River College Hawks on Facebook to catch all of CRC’s sports action!