NO. 1 STORY OF 2013-14 SCHOOL YEAR: SRJC MEN WIN THEIR FIRST STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The SRJC Basketball Program is one of the best in the state.
The Women’s team won a state championship in 2011, which was the second in school history.
The Men has had successful seasons which include a Big 8 championship in each of the last two seasons. With all the success, they weren’t able to parley that into the State Championships however…until this year.
Here is a look back at the remarkable run to the State Championship, that didn’t start out to be a season that seemed headed for anything special.
November 1st—The preseason rankings come up and SRJC is the first team named under the category “other teams considered” in the North. One of the comments about the team was, “Santa Rosa plays a tough pre-season schedule that could help, but also break the Cubs”.
November 8th—Opened the season with the 65-57 win over Marin. It was the opening round of the San Francisco Tournament. They would lose the next two games. Both losses were to top ten teams in the pre-season rankings including No. 1 and host San Francisco in the Consolation Game.
December 12th—SRJC loses in double overtime to Antelope Valley 76-74 in the second round of the Riverside Tournament. It gives them a three game losing streak and a record of 3-6. Five of the six losses are to teams that were ranked in the top twelve in the first official ranking that was posted on December 2nd. Three of the losses were to No. 5 San Francisco.
December 21st—SRJC defeated Yuba 85-74 to win its own tournament and even its record at 6-6. Matthew Hayes scored 25 points and Alec Kobre was named Player of the Tournament. It is the last game of the season that SRJC goes into a game under .500. The YSN365.com articles states that SRJC may have turned its season around.
January 7th—SRJC defeats Modesto 72-66 to open Big 8 League Play. Hayes and Kobre each score 18. It is five straight wins and they are now 8-6 and go two games over .500 for the first time this season.
January 24th—SRJC goes on the road and losses to Diablo Valley 62-54. It is their second loss in three games and they fall two games back of first place Cosumnes River in the Big 8 race. This is also the SRJC Men’s last loss of the season. It wasn’t all bad news for SRJC. On the same day Gretchan Harrigan had her school record 51 point game for the Women.
January 27th—The Weekly Rankings has two Big 8 teams in it. No. 8 is Cosumnes River, who is 18-4 overall and is 6-0 in Big 8 play. No. 19 Diablo Valley is at 16-4 and 4-2. SRJC at 11-8 and 4-2 is not in the top 20 in the state rankings. They are No. 11 in the Nor Cal rankings. Five of their eight losses are to three of the four top teams in the state.
January 28th—It was a must win game to stay in the Big 8 race. Well as close as you can get to a must win at the halfway point of the league race. SRJC went on the road and handed Cosumnes River its first league loss 83-78. Matthew Hayes scores 20 points, one of five SRJC players in double figures. Diablo Valley also losses, so all of sudden SRJC is in second place, one game back of Cosumnes River. This was one of the big nights of the season.
Februrary 2nd—SRJC is No. 19 in the State Rankings. They will be in the rankings for the rest of the season.
February 11th—The winning streak is five as they defeat Sacramento 86-71. Hayes scores 25 and SRJC moves into a first place tie because Cosumnes River is upset by Sierra 78-68. In the first meeting Sacramento defeated SRJC 52-48.
February 13th—They move into sole possession of first place, a position they would have for the rest of the season. They defeat American River 69-56 as Cosumnes River was defeated by San Joaquin Delta 79-73.
February 18th—Wraps up at least a share of the Big 8 championship with a 64-53 win over Diablo Valley as Davone Oliver scores a season high 22.
February 21st—They don’t have to share the Big 8 championship after defeating Cosumnes River 76-56. Hayes and Kobre each score 22. A 16-6 run wiped out an early 11-2 deficit and they pulled away after that. They head into the state playoffs with a 19-8 record and an eight game winning streak.
February 24th—They are picked as the No. 3 seed in the Nor Cal playoffs. In the last rankings of the season they are the No. 10 in the state.
March 1st—The No. 1 story of the year was almost over in the first round. They were forced into overtime before taking an 86-76 overtime win over No. 14 Merritt. They were nine down in the second half. Hayes scored ten of his team high 25 points in OT.
March 5th—Another tight win, this one over No. 6 Ohlone 67-60. Hayes, who was the team leading scorer with a 16.2 averaged, scored a game high 22. He hit a four point play with 13 minutes left to make it 37-37 game.
March 8th—They went on the road against No. 2 Fresno and had a 20-1 lead halfway through the first half. Fresno rallied to cut the lead to five with six minutes left before SRJC took back control and a 83-72 win. Hayes scored 20, one of four in double figures. Fresno, who defeated SRJC 70-57 back in November, ended the season 30-3. SRJC advances to the state final four.
FINAL FOUR AT CERRITOS COLLEGE IN NORWALK…The Bear Cubs were the No. 3 seed in the original Nor Cal playoffs seedings. For the final four they were the No. 1 seed from the North. That is because they beat No. 2 (Fresno) and No. 1 San Francisco was upset by Chabot 101-94. That snapped a 28 game winning streak snapped and ended their season 29-2. They went 3-0 vs.SRJC, the three wins were during the first seven games of the season.
March 15th—Kai Drewery, who averaged six points a game, scored the last four points including a layup with :04 left which was the game winner in a 49-47 win over Chaffey. SRJC had scored 17 straight points to take a 20-11 lead and led 26-16 at the half. Chaffey came back to tie the game at 35-35 with ten minutes left setting up the thrilling finish.
March 16th—The championship game was between two schools trying for their first ever state championship. SRJC’s opponent, San Bernardino, went into the game 29-7. The 29 wins included a 64-48 win over SRJC on December 11th. SRJC took a 73-67 win. Drewery did it down the stretch for the second straight game, scoring what turned out to be the winning basketball with :25 left to break a 67-67 tie. The basket by Drewery was described in an article at the State JC Sport website as a near impossible shot. The basketbstopped an eight point run after SRJC seemingly had a safe 67-59 with two minutes. Drewry scored a season high 16 points and it was the second time that he had back to back games in which he scored in double figures. Alec Kobre scored a game high 17 points and was named the Final Four MVP and will be going to the University of Pacific.
SRJC ended the season 24-8 with a 13 game winning streak. After the 3-6 start they won 21 of their last 23 games.
It ended the 14th season for SRJC Head Coach Craig McMillan. The state championship win was his 300th career win. He averages 21 wins a season and has a winning percentage of .675.
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