Sophomore guard Royal Edwards III shoots a free throw Saturday against Reedley College. Edwards led all scorers with 22 points.
The Yuba College Men’s Basketball Team has done it again.
With the win against the Reedley College Tigers on Friday, March 8, 2008, the 49er Men’s Basketball team secured its spot in the Elite 8 for the second consecutive year.
Yuba established itself as the number three seed in the North with a 30-3 regular season record and was looking to avoid an upset as Reedley College was the eleventh seed with a 21-9 record.
The game started out at a slow pace with Yuba taking a small lead early in the game.
Reedley fought back however with the help of sophomore forward Clifford Hodge, their leading scorer on the season with 13.6 points per game.
Hodge hit a few big three pointers in the first half to increase the Reedley lead 25-15 with 3:35 left in the first half.
Yuba’s first half woes came primarily from the foul line as they struggled greatly shooting only 2-9 from the line in the first half.
Despite a low scoring first half Yuba was able to overcome a small deficit and pull close with the score at 25-23 at the end of the first half of regulation play.
In the second half it was all Yuba, who was able to excel on the offensive end as well as the defensive end. The 49ers owned the glass the entire second half, out rebounding Reedley 43 to 22, ** of those coming on the offensive end.
Yuba got a scare however with 9:52 remaining in the second half as Yuba freshman star and leading scorer for the season Tristan Wilson went down and was slow to get up.
The fans were able to give a sigh of relief when after a quick examination Wilson was quickly cleared to continue playing.
Yuba continued to dominate the game by executing some terrific penetration and securing extra possessions, as well as doing extra efforts like taking charges and chasing down loose balls.
The Tiger’s frustration showed when with 7:45 remaining in the second half a Reedley guard committed a flagrant foul on Yuba guard Mayse Walker during a fast break. Walker was able to connect on both free throws.
The 49ers never stopped fighting as they continued to hassle Reedley on defense even late into the game.
Sophomore forward Kyle Rische, who not only leads Yuba but the complete Bay Valley Conference in blocked shots rose for a monster block with 3:25 remaining in the game to swing the momentum completely into Yuba’s favor.
It was all uphill from then on for the Niners. With the crowd on their side Yuba completely outworked Reedley in the final minutes of the game going on a 14-2 run.
The final push was kicked off with a two handed jam with 1:23 left in the game by freshman forward Sean Harris assisted by Walker.
The immediate result cam in the form of intentional fouling by Reedley to stop the clock and make an attempt to get back into the game.
This proved unsuccessful as Yuba’s dismal first half free throw shooting did not carry over to the second half. Yuba shot 8-10 from the foul stripe in the second half to secure the win.
The final score was Yuba 68 and Reedley 56. Sophomore guard Royal Edwards led all scorers with 22 points, 13 of those coming in the second half, while Tristan Wilson pitched in with 19 for the 49ers.
The glory of the win was shared as Mayse Walker added 13 points and Sean Harris put in 14 total for the game and is also their leading rebouder for the season.
Sophomore Guard Justin Ayers added 15 while Clifford Hodge put in 14 for the Tigers.
Yuba moves on to the Elite 8 to take on Fullerton who is the number two seed in the South on Friday March 14th.