Hawks fly past first round in the playoffs


Alex Grado

Sophomore wing James Gill shooting a 3-pointer in the first game of the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs on Thursday. The Hawks would go on to win the game with a final score of 84-71.

The men’s basketball team kicked off the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs with a win over the West Hills College Lemoore Golden Eagles with a final score of 84-71.

The game started off with a back-and-forth battle between the two playoff teams with the Hawks struggling at the free-throw line. Near the end of the first half, the Hawks started to pull away from the Golden Eagles by hitting a couple of 3-pointers with good defense that would lead to points off turnovers.

“We’re on a mission,” said head coach Jonathan James. “From the start of the season, we’ve been on a mission and now it’s time to win some games.”

Coming into the game, the Golden Eagles had the size advantage as they had two players over 6’7” with the Hawks only having one. The difference in the first half was the ability of CRC to outrebound the Golden Eagles 27-20 and lead in bench points 9-2.

Sophomore guard Kyree Dunn was the first player off the bench and immediately made an impact by assisting a 3-pointer to Drake with just around 14 minutes to go in the first half.

“We all played good. We all played as a team,” Dunn said.

Dunn led the bench in minutes played and scored six points to help CRC outscore the Golden Eagle’s bench 22-8.

The Hawks started the second half on a 16-5 run to go up 60-41 with around 12 minutes to go in the game. CRC demonstrated teamwork all throughout the game by finishing with a total of 11 assists to the opponent’s five.

The Golden Eagles would outrebound CRC in the second half, but the Hawks won the total rebound battle 43-41.

“We knew they had a big man and we talked about him, but we were mainly focused on their guards,” said sophomore guard Brandon Scott.

The Hawks would go on to edge out the Golden Eagles to end the game.

The guards for the Golden Eagles provided most of the scoring by combining for over 37 points of the team’s 71.

Freshman guard Keasean Bazlie, the second-leading scorer at the time, got hurt and hobbled off the court shortly after making two free throws to make it a 74-65 Hawks game with around three minutes left in the game. He would later come back into the game, but had a noticeable limp.

“Yeah, when he went down we definitely tried to go at him,” Scott said.

Freshman guard Karlos Zepeda finished the game as the Hawk’s leading scorer with 15 points and freshman forward Antonio Tercero finished as the Hawks leading rebounder with 11 and added 11 points to follow.