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Men’s basketball wins first playoffs match, continues 13 game winning streak

Sophomore+guard+for+the+Hawks+Mitchell+Love+trying+to+make+a+shot+over+the+Roadrunners+sophomore+forward+Arthur+Caldwell.
Sophomore guard for the Hawks Mitchell Love trying to make a shot over the Roadrunners sophomore forward Arthur Caldwell.

Sophomore guard for the Hawks Mitchell Love trying to make a shot over the Roadrunners sophomore forward Arthur Caldwell.

Ceejay Willis

Ceejay Willis

Sophomore guard for the Hawks Mitchell Love trying to make a shot over the Roadrunners sophomore forward Arthur Caldwell.

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In front of a large home crowd, the Cosumnes River College Hawks men’s basketball team won not only their thirteenth straight game but the first game of their playoff run.

Winners of the Big 8 Conference, the Hawks faced off against the Butte College Roadrunners who were the winners of the Golden Valley Conference on Feb. 27. The Hawks continued their win streak with a final score of 69-60.

“It went pretty much according to plan,” said head coach James Giacomazzi. “Quite frankly I’ve watched these guys and their film relentlessly. I’ve slept about four or five hours a night for the last five days.”

The game started with Hawks freshman forward Daylon Potts losing a jump ball against Butte’s freshman forward Michael Shoemaker.

Just minutes later David Straughter, the Hawks sophomore forward, scored the first point of the game, Butte scoring less than a minute after that.

This set the tone for the entire first half of the game, neither team being more than five points ahead of the other at any point.

A lot of credit goes to my coaching staff as well. My staff has done a great job all year long, they don’t get enough credit.”

— James Giacomazzi, head coach

Giacomazzi said that he thought the game was an even match and Potts agreed.

“Whoever is in the playoffs right now must be good,” Potts said.

CRC ended the first half of the game leading 35-31 when sophomore guard Mitchell Love let the clock run out to avoid Butte scoring any more points.

“We’ve played plenty of games together [and] we’ve been through adversity,” Straughter said. “There’s ups and downs. We’re not always going to be in the lead during the game, but we know how to get through it.”

Potts said that having a close first half did not scare him and that he knew the team would make it all the way.

“Coach called a timeout and told us about number 32 [sophomore forward Arthur Caldwell] who scores 20 points a game and he told me to keep him under 10 [points] and I kept him under the 10,” Potts said.

The second half started with Caldwell being fouled out of the game within minutes.

The Hawks quickly pulled ahead and were up by almost 10 points throughout the entire second half.

Butte played aggressively, but could never catch up no matter how much they hustled and played defensively.

The last two minutes of the game were filled with fouls being exchanged back and forth between the teams.

With only 38 seconds left in the game and the Hawks up 64-49, both teams managed to repeatedly score till the clock hit double zeros with the Hawks ahead 69-60.

“We just played as hard as we can out there,” said sophomore guard Phil Randles. “Everybody was gelling together and we looked like a team.”

Giacomazzi said he was pleased with the game’s outcome.

“The most important thing is that we won the game and that’s all we really care about. Survive and advance,” Giacomazzi said.

The Hawks next game will be on March 4 at 7 p.m. against either Marin College or Skyline College depending on who wins their match on Feb. 28.

The team said they plan to study their next opponent as well as practice and hit the gym as much as possible.

As of now, Giacomazzi said he is happy that the work they have put in so far has paid off.

“All credit to the kids, they really executed the game plan,” Giacomazzi said. “A lot of credit goes to my coaching staff as well. My staff has done a great job all year long, they don’t get enough credit.”

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Men’s basketball wins first playoffs match, continues 13 game winning streak