The Las Positas men’s basketball team had 113 reasons to smile Friday night.
With centers Anand Hundal of Manteca and Donald Mims of Sacramento living large in the paint, and a bevy of athletic guards doling out dimes, the Hawks raced by the century mark in a 113-63 win over visiting Chabot.
“I thought we had a great game and everybody contributed to this win,” said the 6-foot-10 Hundal, who had two blocks in one stirring defensive sequence. “We played well and we’ve got to keep this momentum going next week (against top-ranked CCSF).”
Only four NBA teams scored more points than the Hawks Friday night, and those totals came in 48-minute NBA games. Las Positas (16-4, 2-2 Coast-North) amassed its 113 in just 40 minutes.
So, it was a memorable night against Chabot, which started fast but lacked the depth to keep pace.
It was the most points Las Positas has scored under head coach James Giacomazzi, in his second season, and the windfall followed back-to-back 70-point outputs in losses to Ohlone and Canada.
“It was fun getting back out there and getting a victory,” said sophomore guard Caleb Baskett, a Washington-Fremont graduate like Giacomazzi.
After trailing 20-15 with 11:46 left in the first half, the Hawks went on a scintillating 41-14 surge as they attacked the rim aggressively.
Stokley Chaffee’s slam dunk followed by his thunderous rebound-jam brought the lead to 41-28. After a turnaround jumper by Hundal, Nick Evans touched off a devastating run of four consecutive Hawks’ 3-pointers. Evans, who had a career night with 28 points, including seven 3-pointers, had two treys during the uprising and Keith Hunter and Kameron Johnson had one apiece.
Chaffee had three jams in the first half, and the 7-foot Mims had one.
“That was nice,” Giacomazzi said of the team performance. “Everybody got an opportunity to contribute, and the good thing is that everybody was still staying within the flow of the offense. It wasn’t like one on five. We shared it, we moved it.”
What was missing against Canada and Ohlone that was not missing against Chabot?
“Just the focus on the little details and making sure we’re crisp in everything we do,” Baskett said. “Trying to make sure that we finish possessions with rebounds and walking into personnel and knowing what we have to do to get the job done.”
Baskett went to Saddleback Junior College out of high school, but things didn’t go as well as he hoped. So the Saddleback coach put Baskett in contact with Giacomazzi. Things have been clicking in Livermore.
The hard-working Hundal smiled when asked about his charismatic head coach who moves on the sideline like he’s in the game himself.
“He’s great. He puts confidence in me and the teammates and everybody, so I love playing for the team,” Hundal said.
Giacomazzi was pleased with what he saw Friday night, with the guards distributing the ball effectively and the bigs sealing off the inside and wanting the basketball, but “we’ve got to work on finishing through contact," he added.
But it was hard to dwell on too many flaws in the aftermath Friday night.
“Definitely, we needed to bounce back from those losses,” Evans, a Freedom High graduate and transfer from Holy Names, said. “We didn’t care who our next opponent was, we just needed to get it done.”
Now the Hawks (16-4, 2-2) will gear up for Wednesday’s showdown at defending state champion City College of San Francisco (18-1, 3-0), ranked No. 1 in the state.
-- Matt Schwab