The Cosumnes River College men’s basketball team battled Diablo Valley College at home Tuesday night, their second confrontation with the Vikings in less than a month.
In January, the Hawks left the Vikings’ court with a tightly contested victory 87-84.
“I was on beat and I was ready to go,” said Hawks’ sophomore guard Charles Standifer.
By the first five minutes of the game, the Hawks maintained the lead with the score at 9-4.
As the minutes pressed on, the Vikings began to catch up, with sophomore forward Mike Harris and his teammates collecting rebounds and fast-breaking down the court to score.
As the first quarter dwindled, the Hawks’ lead on the Vikings shrank. The score stood 24-23 with under six minutes left.
“They have a lot of good role players,” said Hawks’ freshman forward Jaycob Velasco, “a lot of players that can score off the dribble.”
With less than a minute remaining in the first half, the teams fought to tip the scales from an even 30-30.
But, with three seconds left, Velasco executed a momentum changing shot and the Hawks led by three points going into halftime.
The game coincided with breast cancer awareness night, and during the break, the audience was invited to participate in a raffle to raise funding.
Starting the second half, the rhythm of the game seemed clear. The Hawks maintained a 3-5 point lead with the Vikings steadily in pursuit, up until the final minute of the game.
As the curtain began to fall, Vikings’ freshman guard Connor Jean launched a three point shot that broke the Hawks’ momentum.
With the score standing at 74-73, and 22 seconds left, Velasco landed two successive free throws, giving the Hawks a 3-point lead.
With the game in their hands, and less than half a minute to go, the Hawks neared their second victory against Diablo Valley.
But with seven seconds left, Vikings’ freshman guard Jelani Hardaway tied the game, throwing the match into overtime.
“We missed some easy shots around the basket tonight that we would normally make,” said head coach James Giacomazzi. “In close games like this, our margin of error is small, so we have to finish those easy ones.”
Overtime saw several successful shot attempts by Harris. The Vikings took advantage of a loose Hawks’ defense in the latter moments.
A free throw by Harris closed the game in the Vikings’ favor 91-88, a three point lead.
Giacomazzi called the night’s outcome “Ironic”.
“They got their payback on us,” Giacomazzi said.
Giacomazzi noted that the team could have taken advantage of many free throws but they “weren’t able to convert.”
“We did well in some cases, and we didn’t do well in others,” he said, “and when you have inconsistency, you’re going to have games like this.”