Junior college basketball: Canada reaches
final four for first time since 1994
By Vytas Mazeika
Daily News Staff Writer
What a difference a year
The men's basketball team
at Canada College didn't even sniff the playoffs during a five-win season in
2013-14. Now the Colts find themselves in the four-team state community college
else," said second-year coach Mike Reynoso said. "It's an exciting
It's the first trip since
1994 to the final four for Canada (24-6), which was seeded ninth in the NorCal
Regional and needed three road victories to extend its season.
"I think we actually
like being on the road," Reynoso said. "That's something that our
team has thrived on throughout the season, just being tested on the road and
that atmosphere where everybody is rooting against us."
The latest victory came
Saturday night at No. 3 Marin, which trailed by 17 points during the send
half before chipping away at the deficit.
intense," Reynoso said. "It was so much energy, so much just passion
involved in the game from both sides."
Free throws down the
stretch by sophomores Kenny Hatch and Rohndell Goodwin helped Canada cling to
Goodwin came down with a
key rebound with 3.8 seconds left and converted both free throws to finish with
a game-high 24 points off the bench.
"We definitely rushed
the court," Reynoso said. "I ran and jumped on Rohndell Goodwin. Our
other assistant Jason Hardee went and hugged Manny Martin and everybody was
kind of getting in together, excited before we went in line and shook their
The Colts take on
Saddleback (31-2), the No. 1 seed out of the south, in Friday's semifinals at 7
p.m. All games will be hosted by Cerritos College in Norwalk with the
championship game Sunday at 1 p.m.
The semifinal will provide
a contrast in styles, as Canada features the No. 4 offense in the state at 83.9
points per game, while Saddleback ranks second in fewest points allowed at
"I expect a good team
regardless at this point," said Reynoso, who in a brief scouting report
noted Saddleback features a big post presence.
"He's going to have
to run with us and we're going to have to bang with him inside. I think it's going
to be an old-fashioned matchup. It's going to be blow for blow, and whoever
makes the most runs and keeps their composure will come out the winner."
Freshman guard Crisshawn
Clark finished with 15 points and nine rebounds against Marin, while power forward
Manny Martin had 13 points and nine boards. Hatch scored 12.
"They went to a zone
and we hit 3's, they overplayed us on the perimeter and we drove by them, we
pounded it inside, we rebounded, hit free throws," said Reynoso, whose
team overcame 25 turnovers. "We just played a complete game and we took
care of the ball until the last seven minutes."
In the opposite side of
the bracket, No. 17 Foothill fell 62-50 to No. 5 Merritt in Oakland. The Owls,
who upset the No. 1 seed the previous weekend, finish the season with a 15-17