CCSF men’s basketball escapes in final seconds, advances to Elite Eight

SAN FRANCISCO — City College of San Francisco’s men’s basketball team almost hit a stumbling block Saturday during their state title defense.

With the Rams leading by two with less than four seconds remaining on the clock, Butte inbounded the ball to Josiah Wood, who rose up for a 3-point attempt and was hit on the arm. As time expired and in the commotion of a playoff atmosphere, the three officials looked at each other with blank expressions before walking off the floor.

The entire Butte bench couldn’t believe the no-call and some even crossed half the court to express their dismay. Head coach Russ Critchfield commiserated with fans who made the trip to the Bay Area after the game in the hallway, saying, “I sure thought he was hit, but oh well.”

“Oh well,” is right as all that matters going forward is CCSF will compete in the CCAA State Championships as one of the remaining eight teams.

The game Saturday was slow starting as both teams struggled to establish a rhythm offensively. The Rams shot 35.6 percent from the floor compared to Butte’s 32.4 percent. But the home team forced 23 turnovers, allowing for enough extra chances to lead for most of the game.

Sophomore Zach Copeland — one of two non-freshman on the City College roster — scored a team-high 16 points, mostly from the line, from where he made eight of nine attempts.

CCSF plays Antelope Valley Thursday at 5 p.m. in an Elite Eight matchup at Las Positas College in Livermore.

CCSF women roll to Elite Eight

The women’s game had far less intrigue as the Rams outscored Diablo Valley in each quarter en route to a 86-74 victory.

Gabrielle Vigil scored a game-high 26 points, Nahrie Pierce netted 15 while grabbing 13 rebounds.

CCSF plays Ventura at 7 p.m. on Friday in the CCAA State Championships. If the women are going to claim a title, they’ll have to win three games in as many days in the upcoming weekend.

Jacob C. Palmer

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