The Cosumnes River College Hawks men’s basketball team won by 10 points against Modesto Junior College Pirates 85-75, breaking its two game losing streak on Friday night.
The team’s cooperation led to their victory. “Sharing the ball and playing as a team helped us a lot, and we haven’t played like that in a long time,” said sophomore forward Robert Tolbert.
Tolbert, who scored two points and two rebounds, said “We picked each other up. We were kind of down at one point, but we were focused with a positive mindset and encouraged each other.”
One of the team’s starters, sophomore guard Leondre Lintz, was on fire, carrying the team by executing successful plays and scoring perfect shots, from layups to three-pointers. He scored 38 points for the night.
“He’s one heck of a player. He has leadership and you can see that tonight,” said Head Coach Jonathan James. “He kind of sets the tone for us all offensively and defensively.”
Lintz sat out the for the first half of the game because he fouled out twice within the first three minutes of the game.
“We had our lead scorer, Leondre, who had foul trouble early in the first half. He sat in for a good portion of the first half,” said James. “Some guys off the bench came in and did a great job.”
Bolaji Famuyiwa, a sophomore center, came off the bench and grabbed 11 rebounds for the team. Another bench player, sophomore forward Trevor Hooper, added nine points and showed strong defense.
The Hawks had a few weaknesses that left them behind at the end of the first half. The Pirates scored a lot of their points due to the Hawks had a weak defense, didn’t secure their rebounds and gave 18 turnovers.
The first half ended with the Pirates leading by eight points, 33-25, against the Hawks.
Coming into the second quarter, the Hawks changed their strategy.
It was an exciting game as both teams scored points back to back trying to secure a lead over each other. If the Pirates scored a three-pointer, the Hawks answered back with a three-pointer as well.
The team improved tremendously with their defense and closed in on the Pirates. Their main goal was to defend hard and keep running the ball down the court to make easy baskets, said James.
Victor Wariso, a sophomore forward, played solid defense with nine rebounds against the Pirates. Freshman forward Jordan Roberson made 14 points for the Hawks along with five rebounds. Freshman guard Khari Hutt scored 12 points with seven assists and two rebounds.
The game ended with a crucial win for CRC. “We were on a losing streak so it was important to us to win to get our confidence back up,” said Lintz.
The Hawks will play Sacramento City College tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at home.