Even after winning its seventh game in a row — and 21 of 22 this season — the City College of San Francisco men’s basketball team was still unhappy with the effort it had put on the court Wednesday against Ohlone College.
“We were really out of it,” men’s head coach Justin Labagh said. “We couldn’t hit a three and had no intensity. I was really disappointed in the team tonight.”
The Rams led wire to wire in the 76-59 win, but it still felt like a letdown for a team that’s shot 48.9 percent from the floor and 36.2 percent from 3-point range this season, scoring 90.1 points per game.
The Rams only made five threes during the game, far below their season average of 8.6, and shot a lackluster 14-for-29 from the free throw line, after coming into the game with a 67.1 free throw percentage.
“We got some work to do,” Labagh said. “Someone will catch us if we continue to play like that. We were taking good shots, but we weren’t making the shots from three, and couldn’t make any from the free throw. You got to make one or the other.”
City College started out the game hot on offense, outscoring Ohlone 25-9 during the opening 10 minutes, but as the game worn on, they struggled to hit shots.
Star sophomore guard Deschon Winston only scored four points during the first half, so the Rams had to go elsewhere for buckets. Austin Harris stepped into fill the offensive void, and scored nine of his team-high 16 points during the first half. Harris played with grit and determination, and fought hard to grab tough offensive rebounds and then score second-chance points.
Freshman forward Jason Ricketts added some more help on offense, scoring 10 out of his 14 points during the opening half, including making a three and hitting 7-of 8 free throws.
By halftime, though, Ohlone had narrowed the lead to 42-33. Six minutes into the second half, the Renegades were only down by seven, but after that brief scare, the Rams were able to slowly increase their lead as the half progressed.
City College was able to regain some of its defensive tenacity, but on offense, the Rams were still unable to hit shots,
“Ohlone tried to hold the ball for the whole possession, so it required us to play a lot of defense, but we broke down at times too,” Labagh said.
As the second half began to close, City College was able to slowly pull away, as Winston was able to drop 7 points during the second half to finish with 11.
“We are going to focus on free throws and threes before we play Skyline Friday,” Labagh said. “I can’t beg my team to play hard, but we will have an intense practice tomorrow. These guys didn’t have a really great record, and our guys weren’t dialed in tonight.”
CCSF women blast Ohlone
The City College women’s basketball team preceded the men’s game with a resounding 81-29 win of their own.
The Rams ran off a 12-0 run to start the game, and used their superior length to frustrate the Renegades on defense, contesting nearly every shot Ohlone took in the paint.
On offense, the Rams were led by star freshman forward Errayana Hatfield, who finished the game with a team-high 24 points, and scored 16 out of her 24 during a momentous second quarter.
“It is not all about the points for me, more of like which shots are open and which shots are smart, that is the most important part, not just for me, but for everyone on the team,” Hatfield said. “Whether I’m open or not, you know the first couple times they will see I am leaking out and see me running and try to guard me straight up, but that just gets someone else open for the shot.”
Unlike the men’s team, the women were able to hit their shots from three versus Ohlone. They finished the game making 10 from beyond the arc, including seven in the first half.
“We did a great job of ball movement,” women’s head coach Derek Lau said. “Executed some great cross-court passes, and we were able to kick the ball out from underneath to outside. They were terrific out there tonight.”
“We knew what type of game we were coming into,” Hatfield said. “So we worked that ball around. We had been lacking it the last couple games, but our ball movement definitely improved this game.”
Standout sophomore guard Samantha Erisman, coming off her game-winning three versus Chabot College last Friday, led the team with six triples, and finished second in scoring behind Hatfield with 21 points. Besides making big shots, Erisman was also able to contribute with deft ball handling and passing, with many of Hatfield’s fast break baskets coming off Erisman assists.
“The two of them work so well together,” Lau said. “They know where each other are going to be on the court. You can’t ask for more from a duo.”
By halftime, the Rams were up 50-17, and were able to build on that lead the rest of the game, finishing with a 52 point victory.
The women are now 17-2, having won their last twelve games in a row. The Rams travel to play 14-7 Skyline next, in the second part of a men’s-women’s doubleheader against Skyline — what should be a tougher matchup than their game against Ohlone.
“Tonight we got in some practice for our next game,” Lau said. “Skyline is going to be a lot tougher.”