The Skyline College men’s basketball team ended its season at home with a tough loss in a nail biting game against Northern California’s eighth ranked team, the Las Positas Hawks.
The game started off strong for the Trojans, who committed only one turnover during the first half, and exchanged leads with its opposition several times. Point guard Justin Gutang highlighted the first half with a powerful dunk off of a fast break to tie the game up at 23 points a piece.
The Trojans were able to penetrate effectively in the first half which led to a very close game. The Trojans were making excellent decisions with the ball in order to take high percentage shots. With five minutes left in the first half the two teams were all tied up. The Hawks were definitely feeling the pressure from the Trojans’ strong drives. The first half ended with a score of 42-41 with the Trojans down by one point.
After halftime the Trojans once again started off strong with contributions from Antonio Hughes, who shot seven out of 10 from the field for a strong 70 percent. However, the team also began to turn the ball over much more than they did in the first half.
“We only had one turnover the first half, we had 11 in the second half which is too many,” said Justin Piergrossi, head coach of the men’s basketball team. “It’s tough to win when you turn the ball over 11 times in a half.”
Although they had a number of turnovers in the second half, the Trojans somehow managed to stay in the game and even led the game 67-65 with only four minutes left of play. However, the Trojans gave up their lead and weren’t able to get it back again. The game came down to the final seconds, and with only 24.6 seconds left the Trojans were down 73-72.
After fouling to gain back possession, the Trojans had one last shot to tie or win the game, with Skyline down 74-72. Gutang drove down the middle, but had the ball knocked loose and kicked it out to Tavita “Vika” Jimenez, who attempted a difficult three-pointer to win the game. But the ball hit the back of the rim, ending the Trojans chance for the win.
“I thought we played hard, you know, we make one more shot we win the game,” said Piergrossi.“It’s an important thing for our guys to learn these games come down to just a handful of possessions, you’ve got to be good every single possession because if you have a couple bad ones that might be enough to cost you the game”.
The Trojans, however, have nothing to be ashamed of, challenging Las Positas down to the last second. The team played with a lot of heart and energy, but just came up short.