Yuba College won Friday’s high stress basketball game against the Hawks of Las Positas College by a mere nine points. Only four games away from being state champions, both teams were in it to win. From pre-game warm ups, it was clear that the guys understood the stakes. Whoever lost would be out of the running, and neither team was willing to give the game away.
The Hawks took the tip, but the 49ers quickly got the ball back and started the game with a nine point lead that would carry them until the end.
During the first half, Julian Welch of the 49ers, who made 30 points in the last game, was rebounding and assisting often. However, he missed many of his early shot attempts. His only score for the first half was a three point shot that came from an assist from C.J. Dorn. He picked up his game during the second half, though, and made ten more points.
Unlike Welch, Anto Olah had a great first half that faltered later on. Although he made four points in each half, he was more in control of his game early on. His passes in the second half were not as focused, and more shot attempts were made that didn’t make it.
Mike McChristian added twelve points for Yuba. A more important contribution from McChristian was his countless steals throughout the game. He also was involved in nearly every play with a rebound, an assist, or a drive that led to a score from either him or someone else.
Julian Scott had four personal fouls for the night, but that didn’t hurt Yuba much. Las Positas made only seven of their combined fifteen free throw attempts. Scott had eleven points in the game.
The high scorer of the game, Spencer Butterfield, made sixteen points. As usual, many of his points were scored at the free throw line (six in Friday’s game). The rest of his points were scored in plays that were guarded heavily, but Butterfield found a way to get open and make a shot.
Shola Diop had a knee that was bothering him, yet he still managed to get five points in the first half. Jhonte Simpson and Dorn each made a three pointer for Yuba, and Tyler Fry had a two point field goal. Dorn played well despite his few points. He led the team as point guard during much of the game, and made expert assists, mostly in the second half.
Yuba won the game 73 to 64, but the team was divided in regards to how they played. Butterfield, who felt that they could have done much better, said they, “Barely got it done.”
Others, such as Tyler Fry, thought, “We played really well as a team.”
Overall play was fast paced and sloppy by both teams. Dorn acknowledged this afterwards. “We could have had better time management… controlled the tempo,” he said. The 49ers will have a chance to perfect their game next week in Fresno against Fresno City College.