LAS POSITAS SET FOR TONY COSTELLO TIP-OFF CLASSIC
The Las Positas men’s basketball team, which has received its highest-ever state preseason ranking of No. 3, will tip off the 2016-17 season with its own tournament this week.
The touted Hawks will begin the eight-team Tony Costello Tip-Off Classic against Modesto at 5 p.m. Thursday.
In other tourney openers, Columbia will face Diablo Valley at 1 p.m.; Sacramento City will meet Butte at 3 p.m., and Siskiyous will battle Contra Costa at 7 p.m.
The winners-bracket semifinals are at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, after the losers-bracket games at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The championship game will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, after the third-place game at 2.
Butte is ranked eighth in Northern California, DVC 10th, Contra Costa 16th “There will be some good competition,” LPC coach James Giacomazzi said of the event. “We’re excited to see what everybody’s got, but also to see we’ve got. We’ve gotten tired of playing against ourselves.”
In addition to being ranked behind only City College of San Francisco and Saddleback in the CCCMBCA state poll, Las Positas is No. 2 in the preseason Northern California poll.
The Hawks boast a talented roster, led by eight sophomores: guards Aaron Berry (Heritage-Brentwood), Keith Hunter (Oakland), Kameron Johnson (Granada), Caleb Baskett (Washington-Fremont), Daniel Gonzales (Pittsburg), 7-foot center Donald Mims (Center HS-Sacramento) and forwards Stokley Chaffee (Amador Valley), and Spencer Wood (California).
Las Positas is coming off a successful season in which they opened the CCCAA Regional playoffs with a 66-57 win over West Hills-Coalinga. The Hawks then fell to Sequoias 87-81, finishing the season 19-10.
Las Positas also earned a program-best 8-4 record in the Coast-North, tying for third. LPC's Brandon Eboigbodin was named to first-team all-state Northern California by the CCCAA, the first Hawks player to accomplish the feat.
The Hawks will open the season against Marin in the Hawks Classic (Nov. 10-12). The young and enthusiastic LPC team has just one sophomore, Precious Kol of Kimball High-Tracy.
Nine of the Hawks’ 11 players are listed as guards: Precious Kol, Jenna Kol (Kimball-Tracy), Brittany Lee (Kimball-Tracy), Chelsea LeVeille (San Ramon Valley), Kol, Janelle Bumagat (Milpitas), Herbiejo Dela Cruz (West-Tracy), Jazmine Gonzalez (Tracy HS), G/F Samantha Roney (Foothill), and Taylor Freitas (Monte Vista).
Cyerra Dillard (Irvington) and Chelsea Barham (Venture HS) are freshman forwards.
The squad is headed by veteran head coach Clarence Morgan and assistant Jeanette Bumagat.
The young Hawks men’s team finished second in the Coast Conference Championship at Crystal Springs in Belmont, as freshman David Frisbie, sophomore Bret Greene and freshman Zach Connely earned all-conference awards.
Frisbie placed sixth individually over the rare course distance of 4.19 miles in a time of 22 minutes, 17 seconds. Greene was ninth (22:52) and Connely was 11th (22:55).
The Las Positas women’s team (11-10, 8-1) will power into this week’s Coast Conference tournament riding a three-game winning streak. The Hawks swept Laney 19-2 and Foothill 5-4 last week, the win over the visiting Owls locking up second place in the Coast-North.
The Hawks trailed Foothill 3-1 before outscoring the Owls 4-1.
Carley Walling led the way against Laney with five goals and three players each had three goals – Paris Sinclair, Charissa Taylor and Amaya Batiza. Sinclair also had three assists, and Batiza and Taylor had four steals apiece.
Hawks men's team star Jeremy Usedom entered the week 14th in the state in scoring with 58 goals to go with his 36 assists and 13 steals. The Hawks (1-17-1, 1-4) return to action at home against Sierra at noon on Monday.
The conference tournament is Friday and Saturday.
The Hawks (9-1-4, 3-0-4) had back-to-back draws last week to extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games.
Las Positas, which travels Ohlone (11-3-2, 5-1-1) and Canada-Redwood City (8-5-1) this week, is in fourth place in the Coast North. It trails three teams with six wins apiece in Coast Conference play: CCSF, Hartnell and Evergreen Valley.
The Hawks had a tough-luck 0-0 tie with West Valley, in which LPC hit the frame five times.
Then they battled a strong Evergreen Valley to a 1-1 draw. LPC’s Camila Fonseca scored off an assist from Alaina Medallin. Ali Nunes was excellent again in goal, and Rita Sontoya excelled on the back line.
Fonseca, a freshman midfielder, is having an outstanding season with nine goals and 11 assists to rank No. 2 on the team in total points with 29, behind Yesica Morales (34). Britni Myhre has 28 points.
The Hawks (10-6-2, 4-4-1) continue to forge through conference place with quality wins and a few tough losses. After a rallying for a 2-1 road win against Skyline last Tuesday, Las Positas absorbed a 2-1 loss at Foothill.
Against Skyline, Marco Neves equalized in the 66th minute, setting the stage for Andre Madruga’s dream winner in the 82nd minute – his first goal of the season.
Scoring is old hat for Neves, who entered the week with 21 goals, tied atop the state rankings with Carlos Eduardo of Lassen. Neves is also tied for second in the state in total points with 49, one behind Francisco Contreras of San Diego.
The Coast-North standings, topped by CCSF (6-1-2), are tightly bunched with West Valley (4-2-3), Canada (3-2-4), Las Positas, Skyline (4-4-1) and Cabrillo (4-5) all battling it out for the second and third spots.
In the loss to Foothill, Antonio Jimenez scored in the 86th minute, assisted by quality playmaker Takashi Fukushima, who is tied for eighth in the state in assists with nine. Jimenez has eight assists (tied for 14th in state).
-- Matt Schwab